Junior Brian Smusz (Daleville, Va.) netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner 2:15 into overtime, to lift Suffolk to a 6-5 ECAC Northeast ice hockey victory over Franklin Pierce Tuesday evening at Walter Brown Arena.
Smusz converted feeds from fellow juniors Nick Davis (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Mike Mondello (Revere, Mass.) on the deciding goal for the host Rams (1-5, 1-3 ECAC Northeast), who jumped out to a 2-0 advantage just 4:11 into the contest on markers off the sticks of Smusz and junior Niles Moore (Columbus, Ohio).
The visiting Ravens (1-4-1, 1-3-1 ECAC Northeast) evened matters 1:37 into the second stanza on goals by freshman Pat Shortt (North Branford, Conn.) and junior Phil LaBreck (Thornton, N.H.) that came just 2:21 apart, but sophomore Paul Weisser (Longmeadow, Mass.) gave Suffolk a 3-2 edge just over the midway point of the period.
LaBreck’s second goal of the period enabled Franklin Pierce to forge a 3-3 tie just 21 seconds later, but junior Mike Bourque’s (Waltham, Mass.) tally with 4:34 remaining in the middle stanza gave the Rams a 4-3 lead after two, and senior Kyle Cook’s (Chino Hills, Calif.) marker with just over 10 minutes remaining in regulation extended the hosts’ lead to 5-3.
The Ravens then received goals from junior Casey Goodell (Rochester, N.H.) and senior Ryan Strayer (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) in just over three minutes to tie the score at 5-5 and force the overtime period, setting up Smusz’s heroics in the extra session.
Bourque and Cook each added a goal and two assists for three points in the win for Suffolk, which also received a pair of assists each from Mondello and senior John Rocchio (East Greenwich, R.I.). Shortt finished with a goal and an assist in the setback for Franklin Pierce, which also received a pair of helpers off the stick of freshman Anthony Chighisola (Whitman, Mass.).
Sophomore Jeff Rose (Collinsville, Conn.) picked up the win in goal with a 24-save effort for Suffolk, while freshman Ben Siok (Holden, Mass.) and junior Jon Tuttle (Concord, N.H.) combined for 27 stops in net for Franklin Pierce as the Rams outshot the Ravens by a 33-29 margin for the contest.
Suffolk heads to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on Saturday afternoon to take on host Skidmore in opening round play of the Skidmore Invitational beginning at 2 p.m., while Franklin Pierce travels to Springfield, Mass. next Tuesday evening to take on Western New England in an ECAC Northeast outing that begins at 7:20 p.m.