BIDDEFORD, Maine -- Four different players found the back of the net for No.10 University of New England, which took down No.8/9 Endicott College by a 4-2 count in a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's ice hockey match Friday night (Feb. 9) at the Harold Alfond Forum.
Winners of 16 in their last 18 outings, the Nor'easters improve to 18-4-2 overall and 11-4-2 in CCC action. The Gulls have now dropped four in their last seven, back to 17-5-2 on the year and 13-4-0 in league dates. Big Blue is 4-0 against ranked opponents this season.
The sides will conclude the regular-season on Saturday (7 p.m.) in Beverly, Mass. to identify the second and third seeds for the upcoming CCC Championship.
UNE's nation-leading power-play got even better with one score in two tries, but it was Big Blue's other special teams unit that did the most damage, pocketing two short-handed goals for the home team.
The top two offensive squads in Division III went scoreless for more than 33 minutes, before Adam Canepa put one in on a breakaway during a UNE penalty kill. The extra-man group then struck three minutes later, as Derek Mecrones redirected a shot from the point to make it 2-0 through 40 minutes.
After Logan Day brought Endicott back within one (2-1) less than two minutes into the 3rd, the Nor'easters registered what proved to be the deciding tally at the 13:46 mark. Ryan Bloom finished off a feed from Brady Fleurent as UNE was short-handed, once again.
The margin was reduced to one (3-2) just 13 seconds later, when Day notched his second power-play goal for the Gulls. Endicott had 1:06 of 6-on-5 time in the waning moments, but Bloom stole the puck from his defensive blue line and set-up Fleurent for an empty-net goal to secure the outcome for UNE.
Ben Churchfield was near spectacular in goal for the Nor'easters with 27 saves in 47:19 of action, including a highlight-reel denial late in the 2nd frame [Watch]. Tate Sproxton did his part the rest of the way, posting six stops to preserve the win.
For the Gulls, Mark Specia turned away 31 shots in defeat.
#10 Nor'easters edge #8/9 Endicott, 4-2
|Endicott (17-5-2, 13-4-0 CCC)||0||0||2||2|
|University of New England (18-4-2, 11-4-2 CCC)||0||2||2||4|