CCC SEMIFINALS: No. 6/7 UNE Tops No. 11/11 Endicott, 4-1

The Endicott men's ice hockey team huddles up after a loss.

BEVERLY, Mass. – The second-seeded Endicott men's ice hockey team fell to third-seeded University of New England (UNE), 4-1, in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament Semifinals on Saturday evening at Raymond J. Bourque Arena.

Tied 1-1 early in the third period (4:55), Jason Harmon (Limington, Maine) snuck a shot past Endicott goaltender Mark Specia (Ringwood, N.J.) from high atop the right face-off circle to give the Nor'easters a lead they never relinquished.

The Gulls did have their chances later in the period as UNE committee two penalties just 10-seconds apart (6:40 | 6:50) to give Endicott a 5-on-3 power play. However, Nor'easters' goaltender Ben Churchfield (Newcastle, England) stopped six shots and the defense blocked three more to withhold Endicott from finding the equalizer.

UNE eventually clinched a spot in the CCC Championship game near the conclusion of the period when Tyler Seltenreich (Littleton, Colo.) and Andrew Slotnick (Canterbury, Conn.) both potted empty netters at 19:19 and 19:39, respectively.

Churchfield (9-2-2) finished the contest with a career-high 54 saves, while Specia stopped 36 in the loss (11-3-1).

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

  • Daniel Kucerovy (Bethel Park, Pa.) gave Endicott a 1-0 lead with a short-handed tally at 13:59 of the second period. Kucerovy scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season by beating Churchfield high glove side after winning a puck battle and finishing on the break.
  • Josh Bowes (Edmonton, Alberta) won a game-high 17 face-offs.

FOR THE FOES

  • Brady Fleurent (Biddeford, Maine) evened up the game at 1-1 with a power play goal on feeds from Seltenreich and Ryan Bloom (Northville, Mich.).
  • Fleurent's goal came from the left post after Seltenreich made a cross-ice pass from the right face-off circle.
  • Churchfield's previous career-high in saves was 42 (1/6/18 vs. No. 12 Norwich, Win 1-0).

WHAT'S NEXT

No. 11/11 Endicott (18-6-3) awaits word at a potential NCAA at-large bid later this month. No. 6/7 UNE (20-4-3) will play fifth-seeded Nichols in the CCC Championship next Saturday in Biddeford, Maine at a time to be determined later. 

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(Photo Credit - David Le '10