|University of New England||Curry College|
MILTON, Mass. — Shane Tracy and Tyler Vankleef scored 1:28 apart in the third period, and Curry College was able to hold off the University of New England late to take a key 3-2 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men’s ice hockey win Thursday evening at Max Ulin Rink.
The victory solidified a first-round home playoff game for Curry (13-8-2, 10-4-2 CCC) when the CCC Championship gets underway Feb. 25. The Nor’easters (11-9-2, 7-7-2) will now have to go on the road in the opening round. The triumph enabled the Colonels to sweep the regular-season series between the two squads, currently ranked fourth and fifth in the league standings.
With the score tied 1-1 after two periods, Curry seized control near the midway point of the final frame. Tracy gave the Colonels the lead for good at the 7:27 mark, tipping home a pass from MikeApreda. Vankleef then added what would prove to be the game-winner on his 14th marker of the season.
The Nor’easters sliced the deficit to one while on a power play when Ryan Bloom found the back of the net for the 15th time this season. Brady Fleurent and Dmitris Jones assisted on the goal, which came with 5:35 remaining on the clock.
UNE was unable to tie the score in the final minutes, despite going on a power play for the final 32 seconds and pulling goaltender Tate Sproxton for an additional skater.
Dylan Bengtson had given the Nor’easters a 1-0 margin early with the lone goal of the opening period. Bengtson received a feed from Blaise Healy before whistling a slap shot over the shoulder of Curry netminder Brett Sinclair in the final minute.
Curry would draw even at 7:23 of the second when Tomas Brejcha put home a one-timer.
Sinclair picked up the win with 18 saves, while Sproxton totaled 17 for UNE.