#6/7 Nor'easters skate into CCC final with 4-1 victory over #11 Endicott

More news about: University of New England

BEVERLY, Mass. -- Jason Harmon scored the go-ahead goal with 4:55 gone in the 3rd period, and a pair of empty-net scores late finished off a 4-1 triumph for third-seeded University of New England against second-seeded Endicott College in the semifinals of the 2018 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men's Ice Hockey Championship on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 24) at Ray Bourque Arena.

The Nor'easters (20-4-3) advance to host fifth-seeded Nichols College in the league final next Saturday, with face-off at the Forum scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be in Biddeford after Nichols pulled a 5-4 upset of top-seeded Salve Regina University in the other match of the day. [Interactive Bracket]

The 6th-ranked group in the country is now 5-0-1 against foes of similar status this year.

Just like the first of the three meetings this season, the two most-potent offensive squads in the nation went scoreless for more than 33 minutes, until Endicott's Daniel Kucerovy (CCC 2nd Team) netted a short-handed marker with 6:01 left in the 2nd.

UNE's top-rated power-play fixed that deficit with 27 seconds left in the middle frame. Brady Fleurent (CCC 1st Team) was on the finishing end of the equalizer, as assists were credited to Tyler Seltenreich (CCC Rookie of the Year / 3rd Team) and Ryan Bloom (CCC 1st Team).

Shortly after Harmon's second tally of the year put the Nor'easters ahead (2-1), the Gulls had 110 seconds of a 5-on-3 power-play come up empty. UNE successfully dealt with another penalty-kill later on, and goalie Ben Churchfield denied all 29 shots that came his way in the 3rd to preserve the result.

Churchfield's 54 saves on the day was just one shy of the program-record for stops during a triumphant effort, which including keeping EC's Logan Day (CCC Player of the Year) off the score sheet.

Seltenreich and Andrew Slotnick tacked on the insurance goals in the final 41 seconds. Fleurent helped set one of them up, adding to his Division III-leading points/game (1.92) and assist/game (1.32) marks.

For the Gulls, who now hope that their 18-6-3 overall ledger is worthy of an at-large selection into the NCAA field, Mark Specia (CCC 2nd Team) made 36 saves.

UNE is now 3-1-2 in two years worth of meetings against Endicott, which picked up its only full result by edging Big Blue in the waning ticks of the inaugural conference final last season.

Looking forward to the showdown for the league title next Saturday, the Nor'easters came away from their November 10-11 series with the Bison with one win (7-5) and one tie (2-2).

No contests today.
No contests today.
No contests today.