WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Western New England University men's ice hockey team overcame a pair of two-goal deficits to defeat Becker College 5-4 in overtime on Saturday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Olympia Ice Center.
The Golden Bears were led by junior forward Nolan Zweep (Abbotsford, B.C.), who scored two goals with one assist on the night, including netting the game winner in overtime. Senior Andrew Green (Plainview, N.Y.), junior Anthony Frati (Churchville, N.Y.), and freshman Demitrios Stefanou (Oaklyn, N.J.) each added a goal, while senior Corey Kennedy (Clemmons, N.C.) had three assists.
The Hawks were led by junior Romain Wild (Mex, Switzerland), who tallied two goals. Juniors Phillip Garcia (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Shawn Peckham (Plymouth, Mass.) each provided a goal for the Hawks as well, and freshman Ian Zaleski (Boise, Idaho) contributed two assists.
Becker jumped out to an early lead in the first period, when Garcia capitalized on a power play opportunity off of a pass from Zaleski.
The Hawks extended their lead to 2-0 early in the second period. Becker took advantage of another power play opportunity when Peckham found the back of the net, with Zaleski and freshman Colby Audette (Colchester, Vt.) providing the assists on the goal.
The Golden Bears got onto the board roughly a minute later when Green struck the back of the net. Kennedy grabbed his first assist of the night on the goal, with junior John O'Brien (Staten Island, N.Y.) adding the secondary assist.
Western New England evened the score at two goals apiece at roughly the 6:58 mark in the second period. Kennedy, from behind the net, found Zweep who fired it into the back of the goal for his first tally of the evening.
Becker regained the lead again later in the second period. Taking advantage of a 5-on-3 power play, Garcia laid it off for Wild, who struck it through the Golden Bear defense to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead.
The Hawks added to their lead just a few minutes later, when Garcia connected with Wild again. Wild found an opening in the Golden Bear defense, and struck the puck well enough to give the Hawks a 4-2 lead.
With under two minutes left in the second period, the Golden Bears cut the deficit to 4-3. Zweep played the puck across the front of the goal to a trailing Frati, who smashed it into the back of the net.
Western New England came back from two goals for the second time of the game when Stefanou scored early in the third period. Green had the opportunity to take a shot from the side of the net, but he unselfishly played the puck back in front to Stefanou who one-timed it past Becker goaltender Zach Skop (Pittstown, N.J.) to tie the game.
The Golden Bears found the breakthrough midway through the overtime period. Kennedy won a faceoff and then proceeded to pass the puck along the boards behind the net to Frati, who found Zweep in front of goal. Zweep struck it past Skop to give the Golden Bears the 5-4 victory.
• The win marks Western New England's first CCC win of the season.
• Western New England held a 33-26 shot advantage over Becker, while the Golden Bears also owned a 40-22 edge in the faceoff circle.
Western New England (2-4-1) will host Post University in non-conference action on Tuesday evening. Becker (2-6) hosts Franklin Pierce on Saturday.