By Ryan Vermette
The Springfield men’s hockey team fell to the Thomas College Terriers 4-1 on Sunday afternoon at Smead Arena in a game that was largely influenced by penalty kills and power plays. Thomas College was able to get their revenge after losing to the Pride, 4-1, on Nov. 8.
Special teams was the name of the game Sunday as both teams combined for two power play goals and two short-handed goals. The Pride had multiple quality scoring chances in the first period but Terrier Goalie Gaston Fuksa was able to block everything thrown his way.
Springfield was unable to capitalize off of rebounds and second chance scoring opportunities in front of the net.
“It’s tough coming back from break, there’s a lot of excuses that you can make, but those are correctable mistakes and that’s something we’re going to talk about and we’ll get better moving forward,” said head coach Andrew Abraham.
Springfield was in control for most of the first period until Terrier forward Justin Wentworth intercepted a pass near mid-ice and skated around the remaining defenders before switching to his backhand and wristing a shot past Springfield goaltender George Matteo.
Special teams continued to hurt the Pride in the second period as they obtained two penalties in the first minute to put Thomas on a five on three power play.
The Terriers capitalized on one of those penalties at the 18:13 mark when forward Jaymen Swygert found the back of the net. Forward Ryan Kapplemann tacked on another goal for Thomas with just under four minutes remaining in the second period to increase the deficit to 3-0.
The Terriers opened up the third period scoring and extended their lead to 4-0.
Moments later, Springfield’s leading scorer Liam Whitman scored a short -handed goal, marking his eighth goal of the season. Thomas was able to hold the Pride off the scoreboard for the remainder of the period to secure the win.
Although Springfield had the edge on shots, Thomas College was able to execute and capitalize on their chances more than Springfield.
“I really see a team that wants to work hard, they’re not afraid of working hard,” Abraham said. “They were the better team today, and we’re going to make adjustments, talk it through, and see what we have to do to get better”
The two programs will split the regular season series at one game a piece as the Terrier’s advance to 7-4-0-1 on the season while the Pride fall to 4-5-0-1. Springfield will have a chance to bounce back on Saturday, Feb. 1 against WPI.
Photo courtesy of Gabby Guerard