Western New England finds success

After last week’s 3-2 win over Manhattanville, Western New England coach Greg Heffernan admitted he wasn’t even aware of a once long-standing streak Manhattanville owned.

Instead, like any coach, Heffernan was preparing his team for the challenge that was in front of them, rather than focusing on a certain aura or milestone surrounding a team or a program.

“We’ve been trying to have the approach that’s treat every game as the most important of the season,” Heffernan said. “It was one game in which we’ve done a good job of preparing, and the guys did a good job of executing.”

John Kelly, who had a goal and an assist against Manhattanville, regarded the win as a benchmark for his program. The Valiants entered last week’s contest with a 21-game nonconference, regular-season unbeaten streak that began December 8, 2009 with a 4-2 win at Connecticut College. Manhattanville’s last nonconference loss was a 5-1 loss to Williams on Nov. 29, 2009.

“It was a big win for the program and in the locker room, and it was a big confidence booster,” said Kelly, a sophomore forward who leads the Golden Bears (4-2, 1-1 ECAC Northeast) with three goals and seven assists in Western New England’s first six games. “In the locker room, we know we are a very good hockey team, and we realized that if we play like this, we can win many more games.”

Heffernan believes Western New England’s early success this season is a result of the culture of the program.

“Our culture has grown into one of repetition and structure,” Heffernan said. “That’s something I feel our guys know what to expect every day. They know what to expect from me. There’s no hidden messages or mixed meanings. It’s a sit where we have honesty and integrity. Does that mean it will be a cushy ride the whole way? We’re going to face adversity. We have a (nonconference) stretch coming up that’s going to be difficult.”

The key for the Golden Bears, Heffernan said, is not to look too far ahead in the schedule. Western New England’s focus this week? First, Wednesday’s game at Salve Regina, and once that game was over, the focus will shift to Saturday’s home game against Becker.

“If we’re not at our best,” Heffernan said, “we won’t find success.”

Kalczynski emerging
While Worcester State’s MASCAC schedule is only three games old after this past weekend, Lancers goalie Bryan Kalczynski has quietly emerged as one of the league’s top goalies.

After Saturday’s 1-1 tie with Massachusetts-Boston and Sunday’s 6-1 win over Southern New Hampshire in the PAL Stovepipe tournament in Hooksett, N.H., Kaczynski earned MASCAC goalie of the week honors.

Entering this week, Kaczynski is 2-2-2. The senior leads the MASCAC with a 2.12 goals-against average and a .922 saves percentage, and is second in total saves with 153.

Kalczynski is starting his senior season on a strong note — last season, Kaczynski was 7-11-1 with a .911 saves percentage and a 3.13 goals-against average in 20 games.

Winning more
With a 3-2 win Sunday over Colby in the Bowdoin/Colby Face-off Classic tournament, Salve Regina eclipsed its win total from last season.

However, the Seagulls (3-4-0, 1-2-1 ECAC Northeast) also hit a milestone with the win, as Chad Goodwin’s goal with 1:14 left in the third period lifted Salve Regina to its third win of the season. Per Salve Regina’s sports information department, Sunday’s win was the Seagulls’ first win over Colby. Since 2004, the teams have met four times, with Colby going 3-0-1.

Numbers of N0te
I’ll abbreviate the Numbers of Note this week, and look at three games from last weekend:

Amherst 5, Salem State 1: Ian Flanagan scored Salem State’s only goal in the first period, and Sam Avoine finished with 27 saves.
Number of note: Amherst outscored its two MASCAC opponents — Westfield State and Salem State — 13-2 last week.

Wentworth 4, Trinity 3: Shaun Jameson had two assists for Wentworth, which scored three goals in the second period, including two power-play tallies.
Number of note: Wentworth won despite being outshot 15-5 in the third period; Leopards goalie Mike Jarboe finished with 36 saves.

Brockport 7, Nichols 3: Louie Educate scored two goals in Nichols’ loss in the consolation game of the Skidmore Invitational in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Number of note: Nichols gave up 15 goals to its two opponents at the Skidmore Invitational, and averaged 23 shots a game both nights.


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