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Ice Hockey Post-Season Run Ends With 4-2 ECAC Northeast Semi-Final Setback At Nichols

2008 ECAC Northeast Semi-Finals
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Jahn Rink, Pomfret, Conn.


POMFRET, Conn.--  Sophomore Eric Cremer (Chelsea, Mich.) scored a pair of goals as third-seeded Nichols advanced to the championship game of the 2008 ECAC Northeast Ice Hockey Championships by notching a 4-2 semi-final round victory over fifth-seeded Suffolk Wednesday evening at Jahn Rink.

The host Bison, who improve to 20-6-1 overall on the season, will take on second-seeded UMass Dartmouth in Saturday’s title contest, as the Corsairs advanced with a 5-1 triumph over eighth-seeded Fitchburg State in Wednesday’s other semi-final match-up.

Man-advantage situations factored into four of the six goals scored on the night, as a shorthanded goal by Cremer that was followed by a marker off the stick of junior Jeff Bieber (Littleton, Colo.) staked Nichols a 2-0 advantage just 13:21 into the contest.  The visiting Rams, who finish the season at 13-14 in advancing to the league semi-finals for the first time in school history, sliced their deficit in half midway through the second stanza on senior Dan Pencinger’s (Randolph, N.J.) shorthanded goal (his 22nd of the season), but Cremer’s power play tally 1:25 into the third frame enabled the Bison to regain a two-goal edge.  Junior Mitch Sabo’s (Bell Canyon, Calif.) power play goal on a feed from fellow junior Kyle Cook (Chino Hills, Calif.) less than two minutes later once again cut Suffolk’s deficit to one, and the score remained that way until freshman Jean-Marc Biron (Atlanta, Ga.) iced the hosts’ triumph with an empty-netter that came with 45 seconds to play in the contest.

Freshman Will Munson (Corona, Calif.) assisted on both of Cremer’s goals in the win for Nichols, who also received single helpers off the sticks of freshmen Billy Sabia (Ridgefield, Conn.), Frank Cosentino (Norwalk, Conn.) and Matt Roberts (Merrimac, Mass.).  Junior Keith Fink (Easton, Md.) picked up the win in goal for the Bison with a 24-save effort, while freshman Jeff Rose (Collinsville, Conn.) made a career-high 47 stops in net for Suffolk as Nichols outshot the Rams by a 51-26 margin for the evening.

Suffolk finishes the season with its highest win total in 15 years, as the Rams also set a school record for league victories with 10 ECAC Northeast triumph and picked up their first-ever post-season win in last Sunday’s 3-2 overtime victory at Wentworth in the ECAC Northeast quarterfinals.

1 2 3  Total
Suffolk (13-14)      0 1 1 -    2
Nichols (20-6-1)     2 0 2 -    4

NIC: Eric Cremer (Will Munson)  SHG     5:03 1st
NIC: Jeff Bieber (Billy Sabia, Frank Cosentino)    13:21 1st
SUF: Dan Pencinger (Unassisted)  SHG     9:56 2nd
NIC: Cremer (Munson)  PPG      1:25 3rd
SUF: Mitch Sabo (Kyle Cook)  PPG      3:08 3rd
NIC: Jean-Marc Biron (Matt Roberts)  ENG     19:15 3rd

SUF: Jeff Rose—47
NIC: Keith Fink—24