EVERETT, Mass. - The Wentworth Institute of Technology hockey team battled #12/12 University of New England, but fell short 6-4 in a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) matchup on Friday night at Allied Veterans Memorial Rink.
With the win, UNE improves to 12-3-2 overall and 6-3-2 in the CCC, while Wentworth now sits at 5-10-3 overall and 3-5-3 in conference action.
The Nor'Easters got on the board just 1:53 into the game on a power-play goal from Jeff Eppright (Barrington, N.J.) for the early 1-0 lead. The Leopards countered just 1:50 later as CJ Grinnell (Burlington, Mass.) scored off an assist from Nate Chase (Plainfield, Ill.) to even things up at 1-1. The goal was the fourth of the season for Grinnell. UNE answered just short of the midway point of the opening period on a goal from Derek Mecrones (Medford, Mass.), which was his first of two for the day as the visitors held the early 2-1 advantage.
After an early second-period penalty by the Leopards, the Nor'Easters added a power-play goal just 1:11 in as Andrew Slotnick (Canterbury, Conn.) scored off assists from Tucker Ross (Ashburn, Va.) and Max Rasberg (Columbus, Ohio) and pushed the lead up to two at 3-1. The back-and-forth scoring continued moments later as Jake Hallisey (Quincy, Mass.) put one home for the Leopards to move back within a goal with 16:01 remaining in the second. Each team added another goal before the midway point of the stanza and headed to the third at 4-3.
Brendan Donohue (New Hope, Pa.) scored just 4:12 into the third for UNE to push the lead back to a pair at 5-3, followed by a terrific goal from Wentworth sophomore Nate Chase (Plainfield, Ill.) as he fired the shot over the shoulder of UNE's Tate Sproxton (Surrey, B.C.) for his fourth marker of the year.
Wentworth pulled netminder Ryan Hubbard (West Roxbury, Mass.) with 1:18 left to try to secure the equalizer before UNE's Eppright scored an empty goal for the 6-4 final as that was his second goal of the contest.
The Leopards outshot the Nor'Easters by a 36-32 margin behind a 10-7 edge in the first period, while UNE converted 2-of-4 power-play opportunities.
Sproxton made 32 saves in the win for UNE to improve to 12-6-1 overall on the season, while Hubbard made 26 stops to fall to 3-7-1.
Both teams resume the series on Saturday night as the Leopards travel to the Nor'Easters for a 7:00 p.m. start in Biddeford, Maine.
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