This Week in the ECAC Northeast

“We’re right in the thick of things,” coach Rob Davies said of his conference-leading Curry College Colonels. “We had a tough game against Becker the other night. They played very well and gave us all we can handle. We were fortunate to get the win. Now we’ve got Wentworth and Nichols coming up. Right now, it’s there for anyone.”

Currently in first place in the ECAC NE with a record of 7-1-1, and an overall mark of 9-8-1, Davies’ isn’t kidding when he infers that things are up for grabs. The contest on February 2 against Nichols pits the Colonels against a team with the best overall record in the conference, as the Bisons are currently 11-3-1. Keep in mind that with the recent Western New England College win over UMass-Dartmouth, that any team in the league may now be capable of banking a win on any given night.

One thing Davies knows he has going for him is a potent offense. The Colonels lead the league with 55 goals scored in nine games and overall they have scored 74 times in 18 games, which is one less than Nichols total of 75 goals in 15 games.

Davies knows where some of these goals are coming from.

“We’re fortunate to have a power play that’s scoring at about a 33% clip, so we’re getting some production out of our power play. It seems, though, that we’re just scoring enough goals to win.”

Perhaps in overall play that might be the case, as Curry has surrendered just fewer than three goals per game, while scoring just over four goals. In league play, though, they are more dominant, scoring 6.1 goals per game while giving up just 2.3 per game.

When asked who is leading the way for the Colonels offensively, Davies didn’t have to wait long to respond.

“[Jeffrey] Hazelwood and [Jason]Yuel are carrying a lot of the load. [James] Pentecost has scored some timely goals. We’re getting production from guys, and getting everyone to play even hockey, then letting the ‘go to’ guys be the difference makers.”

Yuel and Hazelwood can certainly qualify as ‘go to’ guys so far. A freshman out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Yuel has 15 goal and 12 assists for 27 points in 18 games so far. His eight power-play goals lead the conference. Hazelwood, a junior out of California, also has 27 points, tallying nine goals and 18 assists. He is second on the team with five power-play goals.

Pentecost is second on the team with 11 goals, and he has also added two assists. Two of his goals have been short-handed. Also adding to the dynamic offense is Ross Enmark, who is averaging a point per game with 6-12-18.

Back on the blue-line, Davies said that “Jarrett Rush has played very well for us, and Jarrett Souza has been steady as of late. Trevor Speridi has been a good asset to us, we’ve used him a couple of times up front, and on the point. He has a lot of versatility, and with seven guys out hurt, that helps.”

In goal, Davies has been rotating sophomores Stephen Jakiel and Zachary Caredella.

”Goaltending is going to be the backbone of our hockey club,” he said. “We have two of the top three goalies, and they’re still competing with one another and trying to bring the best out.”

Even though Jakiel played a strong game in the win over Becker, Davies plans on keeping the rotation going, and will start Cardella on Saturday against Wentworth.

Whether or not the rotation ends, and Davies goes with one goalie, will be determined by the young men who don the pads. Jakiel is currently 6-2-1 with a 2.64 goals against average and a .894 save percentage. Cardella has a record of 3-6-0, and his GAA is 2.91, but his save percentage of .917 is second in the conference.

“It’s amazing when you have everyone playing for a cause,” Davies said when asked about his overall thoughts on the league. “It’s inspired hockey, and amazing what you can do. We’re all trying to get fire under our guys and inspire them to play to their potential, or above their potential.”