ANNVILLE, Pa. — Junior forward Jamie Weiss’ empty-net goal with 54 seconds remaining in regulation proved to be the difference as Wentworth rallied to defeat Lebanon Valley, 5-4, and capture the ECAC Northeast championship.
Wentworth trailed early, falling behind 2-0 in the first 16 minutes. Junior forward Brian Yingling got the Flying Dutchmen on the board at 9:28 of the first on a power-play goal. Lebanon Valley doubled its lead 6:24 later, as junior defenseman Benjamin Kwon scored to make it a two-goal lead.
Wentworth cut the lead to one 38 seconds later, when junior forward Dave Zelasko scored a power-play tally at 16:30. The game would remain 2-1 for the rest of the first period.
Lebanon Valley increased its lead to 3-1 at 6:52 of the second, as freshman defenseman Adam Bonenberger scored a power-play goal. Zelasko brought the Leopards back within one with his second goal of the game at 15:54.
Freshman Matthew Robles’ first collegiate goal could not have come at a better time, as he tied the game at 3 at 6:31 of the third period. The Leopards grabbed the lead for good on a junior Alex Marinkovich goal with 4:35 remaining in the contest.
With Lebanon Valley pulling the goalie for the extra attacker, Weiss took a feed from junior defenseman Zach Wotherspoon and deposited the puck in the empty net to give the Leopards a 5-3 lead.
The Flying Dutchman cut the lead to 5-4 with 22 seconds left in regulation, but could get no closer.
Junior goalie Jamie Vanek, the game’s most valuable player, turned aside 29 saves. Lebanon Valley senior Kevin Block made 24 saves.
With the win, the Leopards improve to 23-5 and capture their second ECAC Northeast title in the last three seasons. Lebanon Valley ends its season with a 23-4-1 record.