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Hockey Rallies to Tie UNE

Hockey Rallies to Tie UNE

EVERETT, Mass. – Sophomore Ben Mello (Pawtucket, R.I.) scored at 8:54 of the third period to erase a 3-2 deficit as the Wentworth Institute of Technology ice hockey team skated to a 3-3 tie with the University of New England in a Commonwealth Coast Conference contest at Allied Veterans Memorial Rink.

Unbeaten in their last four contests (2-0-2), the Leopards stand at 4-10-2 overall and 2-6-1 in league play while the Nor'Easters are 7-6-2 overall and 4-4-2 in CCC contests. This was the first-ever meeting between the two hockey programs.

A fast-paced first period saw both teams with numerous opportunities however Wentworth sophomore Kenny Graham (Milton, Mass.) and UNE freshman Tate Sproxton (Surrey, B.C.) both made key saves to keep the game scoreless. The Nor'Easters came out firing, holding an 8-0 shot advantage in the early going. Four of those shots came on an early power play. UNE held a 14-12 advantage after the scoreless first period.

While defense was key in the first period, the two squads went on the offensive in the second period, combining for four goals in a span of 3:18. However, the visitors nearly took a 1-0 lead in the early part of the first period when senior Chris Harlow (Falmouth, Mass.) went in on a breakaway but saw his shot go wide of the cage.

At 5:50 UNE broke the ice when sophomore Brady Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine) scored the first of his three goals of the contest which was set up by senior Trevor Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine) and freshman Ryan Bloom (Northville, Mich.).

Wentworth got the equalizer on an odd play at the 7:42 mark of the period. Sophomore Adam Lane (Sarnia, Ont.) dumped the puck in however Sproxton was unable to cover it and the carom came out to sophomore Sam Levin (Simsbury, Conn.) who netted his third marker of the season. Just 41 seconds later, Lane and Levin assisted on senior Kyle LeBrun's (Bridgewater, Mass.) second marker of the season, which came from just inside the right circle.

Brady Fleurent wasted little time evening the score at 2-all when he scored a power-play goal from Bloom just 47 ticks after LeBrun had given the hosts a 2-1 lead. Fleurent finished his hat trick a mere 25 seconds into the third period and gave the Nor'Easters a 3-2 lead. Again, he was set up by Bloom and Trevor Fleurent.

Mello's game-tying goal came after Sproxton had saved shots from junior Erik Andersson (Madison, N.J.) and senior Jake Flynn (Lino Lakes, Minn.). Andersson nearly gave Wentworth a 4-3 lead three minutes later when he went in all alone, however his shot hit the post.

With time winding down, Levin beat a defender into the offensive zone and went in alone on Sproxton, however the freshman kept the game tied.

In overtime, Wentworth took the first two shots, however UNE had a 5-3 advantage for the period.

Graham made 38 saves for Wentworth to stand at 3-3-1. Sproxton made 33 saves as he is 4-2-1. UNE had a 41-36 shot advantage. The line of Trevor Fleurent, Bloom, and Brady Fleurent accounted for all eight of the Nor'Easters' points.

Both teams are in action on Saturday as Wentworth hosts Nichols and UNE is at No. 12/12 Endicott.