Sean McLaughlin had the opportunity to end an eight-year drought. A little more than 10 minutes into overtime, McLaughlin converted.
The freshman forward scored the only goal of the game — scoring on a penalty shot after Curry’s Michael Lopez was called for tripping on McLaughlin’s breakaway attempt — to clinch the ECAC Northeast tournament title for Wentworth and put the Leopards in the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Wentworth earned the ECAC Northeast’s automatic bid to the 11-team tournament, which begins Wednesday — the Leopards (20-6-1) open the tournament at 7 p.m. at Plymouth State (17-6-3), the MASCAC tournament champion.
Wentworth, the top seed in the conference tournament, won its fifth ECAC Northeast championship, and its first since 2004. Furthermore, the Leopards ended Curry’s two-year run as ECAC Northeast champions.
A second freshman, goalie Alex Peck, was also key in Wentworth’s win. Peck finished with 20 saves and earned the ECAC Northeast tournament’s Most Outstanding Player honors. In a 5-3 win Wednesday over Western New England in a semifinal, Peck made 29 saves.
The MASCAC tournament championship game also went to overtime, but Plymouth State’s 5-4 win over Salem State wasn’t decided on a penalty shot. Instead, Kyle Weiland’s goal at 4:48 of the second overtime helped Plymouth State earn its first NCAA tournament berth in school history.
Weiland was named the Most Valuable Player for the Panthers, the top seed in the MASCAC tournament; Weiland had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s championship game.
Weiland’s goal ended a game in which the lead changed hands three times before Plymouth State defenseman Phil Moore scored with 2:30 left in regulation to the teams to overtime.