Huskies Host Saint Anselm College on Saturday (4 p.m.)
GORHAM, Maine -- The visiting New England College Pilgrims built a 3-0 lead in the first period, then held off a comeback bid from the University of Southern Maine Huskies to post a 4-2 victory in New England Hockey Conference men's action Friday evening at the USM Ice Arena.
The win was the third straight for the Pilgrims who came into the contest tied with Norwich University for first place in the league, and improved their record to 10-4-1 overall and 7-2-0 in NEHC play. The Huskies had their three-game unbeaten string (2-0-1) snapped by the loss and fall to 4-7-2 overall and 3-5-1 in league play.
Senior Daniel Bergqvist (Hammarö, Sweden) put the visitors on the board just 31 seconds into the game, blasting a shot past USM junior goalie Anthony D'Aloisio (Frisco, Texas). The teams settled into a fast-paced, back-and-forth game for nearly 16 minutes before sophomore Trevor Momot (New Baltimore, Mich.) doubled the advantage by tipping a shot by rookie Alex Laplante (Londonderry, N.H.) past D'Aloisio. Laplante made it 3-0 in the final minute as he was sprung in by rookie Hunter Hall (Moorhead, Minn.) for a one-on-one against D'Aloisio.
Southern Maine began its comeback bid scoring the only goal of the second period during a 5-on-3 power play. Senior Cody Braga (Middleboro, Mass.) one-timed a shot to beat NEC senior goalie Anthony Pupplo (Shirley, N.Y.) from the slot area after sophomore Bobby Kinsey (Leechburg, Pa.) and junior Maverick Lynes (Sherwood Park, Alberta) traded passes.
Sophomore Brendan Dowler (New Preston, Conn.) pulled the Huskies within one with another power-play goal at 12:43 of the third period. During a scrum in front of Pupplo after a shot from sophomore Adam Withers (Kenora, Ont.), Dowler located the puck in the pile and shoveled it into the net.
NEC iced the decision with an empty-net goal from sophomore Bernie McGovern (Medford, Mass.) with 23.6 second remaining.
Pupplo picked up his 10th win of the season stopping 21 shots. D'Aloisio made 20 saves before being lifted for the extra attacker as the Huskies pressed for an equalizer.
Southern Maine will be back in action on Saturday (4 p.m.) hosting Saint Anselm College in a non-conference game. New England College is off until next Friday (January 17) when it plays at home against Castleton University.