MILTON, Mass. — Thursday night at Ulin Arena in Milton, Curry College put themselves back into a tie for first place with a 9-1 win over Worcester State.
The Colonels came out buzzing around Lancers goalie Andrew Evans, making his first collegiate start, and tested the freshman early. One could have forgiven Evans if he thought of purple rain, for all he saw in the first several minutes were purple jersies flying around his end. Evans was solid, stopping several Curry shots in the early going, with the best save coming when he denied Steve Kelleher from point blank range at the 4:30 mark of the first.
At the 7:05 mark, though, Curry finally got one by Evans, as Louis Hoey fed James Pentecost, who wheeled from behind the Evans stick side, and whistled a high wrist shot into the net.
Curry kept up the pressure, but Evans was equal to the task, and when the Colonels were on a power play midway through the period, he robbed leading scorer Ross Enmark with a fantastic glove save. Despite putting on a passing clinic on the man advantage, Curry could not score.
At the 14:38 mark, Trevor Spiridi fed a pass from the corner to Steve Kelleher, who deflected it past Evans to put Curry up 2-0. But with just over two minutes to go in the period, Worcester State’s Tom Ford, who had just stepped out of the penalty box, collected a feed in the neutral zone from Mark Rintel, and skated in alone on Zach Cardella, firing a wrist shot by Cardella’s right side. In the waning moments of the first, Worcester State had a great chance to tie it up, but Rintel could not capitalize on a breakaway.
Curry came out flying in the second period, and once again pressured Evans, who made big stops on Donald Rankin, and then on Eddie Chlanda, who had split the defense and came in alone on goal, firing what appeared to be a sure goal, only to have Evans snare it with his glove.
Chlanda went off for holding at 3:23, and the Colonels penalty killing unit controlled play for most of the two minutes. The two best opportunities were both shorthanded bids by Curry, with Evans stopping good attempts by Robert Sequeira and then by Rankin.
Midway through the second period, Worcester State again went on the power play, with Geoffrey Ferreira off for holding, and then 62 seconds later, Worcester State had a two man advantage when Josh McLellan went off for a contact to the head call. The Lancers moved the puck well on the 5 on 3, coming up with two good chances, the best a bid by Lee Belisle down low that Cardella kicked out. With one man out of the penalty box, Bill McCreary worked diligently to move the puck down the ice, and he netted a shorthanded goal at the 11:50 mark.
Curry would go up 4-1 following a give away in the own zone that Worcester State could not capitalize on leading to an odd man rush in which Ross Enmark would score, thanks to some nice passing by Chlanda and Sean Sylvester.
Worcester State coach John Guiney was pleased with what he saw early in the game. “I thought we played well for two periods. We took a couple of penalties, we’ve got some sickness, we had a full line out tonight, we’re missing our second line, so we were a little shorthanded.”
In the third period, Curry went up 5-1 at 1:37, when Jamie Pentecost scored on the power play, fed by Enmark and Nathaniel Robie. That lead went increased to 6-1 when Donald Rankin scored a power-play goal at the 12:41 mark.
At the 14:06 mark, Steve Kelleher scored his second of the night, this time a shorthanded goal, which was a result of brilliant passing by McCreary and Steve Murphy. Curry would then score two more shorthanded goals in the next 1:29, with McCreary scoring his second goal of the night; and just 18 seconds later, Geoffrey Ferriera finding himself all alone in front of Evans, as he scored his first goal of the season, putting Curry ahead 9-1, which would be the final socre.
Curry coach Rob Davies wasn’t surprised by his teams’ four shorthanded goals. “It’s the way we used to kill penalties. Last year we were tied for the most shorthanded goals in the nation, and the year before I think we had 26 in 28 regular season games. We’ve led the nation in shorthanded goals the last three years, and you saw a little bit of that tonight.”