Curry Holds Off Western New England in Final Seconds, 4-3

Photo by Larry Radner/Lifetouch
Photo by Larry Radner/Lifetouch

 Smethurst, Beck and Ross score for Golden Bears

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (February 2, 2017) – Curry College senior goaltender Brett Sinclair (St. Catharines, Ont.) came through with a game-saving stop in the closing seconds of regulation as the Colonels held off Western New England University for a 4-3 victory this evening in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) men's ice hockey action at the Olympia Ice Center.

Top Performers
• Junior forward Matt Smethurst (Rexford, N.Y.) posted a multi-point effort with a goal and an assist, while sophomores Steve Beck (Milton, N.Y.) and Carlos Ross (Brockport, N.Y.) also found the back of the net for the Golden Bears.
• Sophomore netminder Kevin Gollmer (Flourtown, Pa.) finished with 46 saves, including 22 in the second period alone. 

• Junior forward Adam Valadao (Ajax, Ont.) fueled Curry's offense with a hat trick, while freshman forward Tomas Brejcha (Prague, Czech Republic) recorded three assists.
• Sinclair totaled 29 saves in net, with nine coming over the final 20 minutes of action.

Game Review
• Western New England nearly took 1-0 lead early in the first period, when senior captain Josh Twietmeyer (Weston, Fla.) intercepted a pass at the blue line in Curry's offensive zone and went in on a breakaway, but his shot sailed wide of the net.
• After failing to capitalize on another solid scoring opportunity later in the period, the Golden Bears got on the board at the 15:58 mark when Beck netted his seventh of the season with assists from Smethurst and sophomore Matt O'Dea (Orland Park, Ill.).
• Valadao stuffed home a rebound just 43 seconds into the second period to even the score, but Ross put the Golden Bears back in front 41 seconds later when his shot from the high slot found its way past Sinclair, who was screened by several players.
• The Colonels utilized a power play opportunity to tie the game for a second time with 11:24 remaining in the frame, as senior forward Tyler Vankleef (Dundas, Ont.) beat Gollmer. Curry then took its first lead at the 15:33 mark of the period on Valadao's second of the night, and the visitors led 3-2 heading into the second intermission.
• Valadao completed his hat trick 1:41 into the third period as Curry extended its lead to 4-2.
• Western New England took advantage of a power play to pull back to within a goal with 7:15 remaining as Smethurst scored his sixth of the season.
• Still trailing in the final seconds, the Golden Bears had one final 6-on-4 opportunity in their offensive zone as Curry had a man in the penalty box and Western New England opted to pull Gollmer in favor of an extra attacker. With four seconds remaining, Smethurst won the draw, spun, and sent a shot towards the net. Twietmeyer was waiting at the far post with a chance to slot home the game-tying goal, but Sinclair come through with a clutch save to seal the win for the Colonels.

Notes
• Curry outshot Western New England, 50-32, and held a 42-35 edge in the faceoff circle.
• The Golden Bears capitalized on two of their four power play opportunities, while Curry went 1-for-2 with a man advantage.
• Gollmer's 46-save effort marks his fifth 40+ save performance this season.

Up Next
Western New England (7-11-2, 4-8-1 CCC) returns to action on Saturday at Nichols, while Curry (11-7-2, 8-3-2 CCC) travels to Suffolk.