Hockey Set to Face Off at Suffolk Sunday

Hockey Set to Face Off at Suffolk Sunday

Wentworth Information:  Roster | Schedule & Results | Statistics
Suffolk Information:  Roster | Schedule & Results | Statistics

BOSTON, Mass. – The ECAC Northeast ice hockey conference was formed before the 1998-99 season and in each of the 18 seasons the league has been in existence the Wentworth Institute of Technology ice hockey team has earned a spot in the conference tournament. In 17 previous ECAC Northeast Tournament appearances, the Leopards have sported a 25-11 (.694) record, have captured six conference championships (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2012, 2013), and appeared in the league's title game five other times (2001, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014). Including the 1998 ECAC North/Central/South Tournament, the Black & Gold have made 18 straight conference tournament appearances with a 26-12 (.684) record.

On Sunday night (7:00 p.m.) at the Emmons Horrigan O'Neil Rink in Charlestown, Mass., Wentworth looks to take a step towards a seventh conference championship as the fifth-seeded Leopards (9-14-2, 8-7-1 ECAC Northeast) travel to fourth-seeded Suffolk (13-9-2, 8-6-2) in the third of the league's three opening round contests set for this weekend.

After suffering through a 14-game (0-12-2) winless streak from Nov. 11 to Jan. 28 and bordering on the outside of the playoff picture, Wentworth won six of its final seven regular-season contests, including a 3-1 win at Suffolk on Feb. 6, and locked up the number five seed with a 4-1 win over Salve Regina this past Saturday (Feb. 20). This marks the second season Wentworth has been the fifth seed as last year the Black & Gold were doubled up by Curry, 8-4, in the opening round of the tournament.

Junior Jake Flynn (Lino Lakes, Minn.) leads the Leopards in scoring with 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) while sophomore Erik Andersson (Madison, N.J.) is the team's leading goal scorer with eight. Andersson also has five assists for 13 points. Sophomores Jake McDonough (Marshfield, Mass.) and Ryan Sullivan (Whately, Mass.) each have scored 12 points on the season with McDonough scoring eight goals and assisting on four others and Sullivan recording a pair of markers and handing out 10 helpers. In between the pipes, senior Joel Miller (Calgary, Alta.), who twice this season has been named the league's goaltender of the week, is 9-6-1 with a 2.74 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.

The two teams split the season series with each team winning on the other's home ice. Suffolk claimed a 2-1 win on Nov. 17 and Wentworth picked up the aforementioned 3-1 win on Feb. 6. Sunday night will mark the 34th meeting between the two local rivals with Wentworth holding a 21-10-2 series advantage. Eight of the series meetings have been decided by a single goal, including three of the last five, and four of the games between the two schools have gone into overtime. This is just the second time in the series the two will face off against each other in the post-season. On Mar. 2, 2008, fifth-seeded Suffolk defeated fourth-seeded Wentworth, 3-2, in overtime in an ECAC Northeast quarterfinal.

The winner of this game will advance to Wednesday's semifinals with the pairings being announced at the conclusion of the Wentworth/Suffolk contest. Endicott (15-8-2, 11-4-1) earned the top seed and a bye into the semifinals and will host the lowest remaining seed after the first round games have been completed. The two other first-round contests will take place on Saturday as second-seeded and two-time defending league champion Nichols (16-9-0, 11-5-0) hosts seventh-seeded Becker (10-14-1, 6-9-1) at 4:40 p.m., and third-seeded Salve Regina (14-10-1, 9-6-1) hosts sixth-seeded Johnson & Wales (11-10-4, 7-6-3). The two semifinal winners will meet on Saturday, Mar. 5, to determine the final ECAC Northeast champion and the league's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Tournament.

First Round, Saturday, Feb. 27-Sunday, February 28
Saturday, February 27
No. 7 Becker at No. 2 Nichols, 4:40 p.m.
No. 6 Johnson & Wales at No. 3 Salve Regina, 3:10 p.m.
Sunday, February 28
No. 5 Wentworth at No. 4 Suffolk, 7:00 p.m.

Semifinals, Wednesday, March 2
Lowest Remaining Seed at No. 1 Endicott, TBA
Second-Lowest Remaining Seed at Second-Highest Remaining Seed, TBA

Finals, Saturday, March 6
Lowest Remaining Seed at Highest Remaining Seed, TBA

Second-Lowest Remaining Seed