Golden Bears Stun Johnson & Wales with Late Rally, 4-3

Photo by Riccio Productions
Photo by Riccio Productions

Western New England erases 3-1 deficit over final 32 seconds of regulation

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 21, 2017) – The Western New England University ice hockey team rallied from a two-goal deficit over the final 32 seconds of regulation before senior captain Josh Twietmeyer (Weston, Fla.) netted the overtime game-winner to secure a 4-3 victory over Johnson & Wales University this afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Olympia Ice Center.

Top Performers
• Twietmeyer led the way for the Golden Bears, scoring the equalizer with 18 seconds remaining in the third period, and the game-winner 3:57 into overtime.
• Junior forward Matt Smethurst (Rexford, N.Y.) and junior defenseman Matthieu Audet (Campbell, Calif.) also scored for Western New England, while sophomore goaltender Kevin Gollmer (Flourtown, Pa.) finished with 29 saves.

• Senior forward Connor Bates (Laconia, N.H.) led the Johnson & Wales offense with one goal and one assist.
• Senior netminder Joey Ballmer (Kalamazoo, Mich.) registered 44 saves on 40 shots.

Game Review
• After over 18 minutes of scoreless action, senior forward Ben Brouillard (Somerset, Mass.) got the Wildcats on the board on a feed from Bates. The Golden Bears pulled even in the closing seconds of the period, however, as Smethurst netted a power play goal with assists from sophomores Connor Graham (Norfolk, Mass.) and Steve Beck (Milton, N.Y.).
• Junior Alan Boozer (Detroit, Mich.) restored the Wildcats' lead at the 7:16 mark of the second period, and Bates made it 3-1 2:41 into the third.
• Johnson & Wales would maintain its 3-1 lead until the late stages of the contest. After Western New England pulled Gollmer in favor of an extra attacker, Audet scored with 32 seconds remaining to bring the Golden Bears back to within a goal. Just 14 seconds later, Twietmeyer found the back of the net to force overtime.
• The senior would come up with more heroics in the extra period, as his shot from the top of the circle found the top left corner of the net with just 1:03 remaining to cap Western New England's wild comeback.

Notes
• Western New England outshot Johnson & Wales 44-32, including 37-15 over the final two periods and overtime.
• The Golden Bears also held a 41-33 advantage in the faceoff circle.
• With the win, Western New England avenged a 7-1 loss to the Wildcats back on November 3 in Providence.

Up Next
Western New England (6-9-2, 3-6-1 CCC) will be on the road next Thursday at the University of New England, while Johnson & Wales (6-9-2, 2-7-1 CCC) returns home to host Becker.