March 5, 2011

Leopards Fall in ECAC Northeast Title Game

MILTON, Mass.- Junior Payden Benning (Estevan, SK) netted the game-winner at 14:14 of overtime lifting Curry to a 2-1 win over Wentworth in the ECAC Northeast Tournament Championship.  The Colonels (16-8-3) earned their second-consecutive conference title and second-consecutive NCAA Division III Championship berth. 

Wentworth was the first to get on the board when junior Skylur Jameson (Long Beach, CA) scored an unassisted short-handed goal with just 30 seconds remaining in the first period.  Freshman goaltender Chris Azzano (Oshawa, ON) kept the Colonels scoreless with 13 saves in the period.

Curry outshot Wentworth 16-3 in the second but another solid period in net by Azzano, held the Colonels to just one goal.  Benning scored the tying goal at the 7:28 minute mark off an assist from freshman Joshua Pineiro (Burbank, CA).  The goal was also scored short-handed.  

Both goaltenders came up with big saves in the third frame to keep the teams tied at one apiece.  Sophomore goaltender Robert Dawson (Woodbury, MI) made 15 saves for Curry and Azzano made 17. 

The Colonels came out strong in overtime and had 15 shots to Wentworth's eight.  It wasn't until the 14:14 mark that Curry was able to slip one past Azzano for the game-winner.  Benning collected the puck in front of the net and one-timed it into the back of the net for the win.  Senior Ray Nicks (Surrey, BC) and junior John Williams (Flourtown, PA) were credited with the assists.

Benning, with a pair of goals, was named as the championship game's Most Outstanding Player. 

Curry's Dawson finished the night with 35 saves for the win.  Azzano made 61 saves in net for Wentworth in the loss.  The 61 saves are the second most single-game amount in Wentworth's program history.

The All-Tournament Team consisted of junior forward Jeremiah Ketts (Johnson & Wales), sophomore defense Shaun Jameson (Wentworth), freshman goaltender Chris Azzano (Wentworth), freshman defender Joshua Pineiro (Curry), junior defender Mike Kavanaugh (Curry) and junior forward Payden Benning (Curry).
Curry now awaits the announcement of NCAA Tournament pairings on Monday March 7 while the Leopards finish their season at 14-9-4.

-Story Courtesy of Curry Sports Information-