By Ryan Vermette
SPRINGFIELD—The Springfield College men’s club ice hockey team got back into the win column Friday night as they beat the Wentworth Leopards, 6-2, in Smead Arena. It was an eventful evening for fans watching a game that included eight total goals, most of which were scored just seconds apart from each other.
Despite Wenworth arriving late and postponing the original 7:00 start time by nearly 30 minutes, the Leopards opened the first period with a strong start, taking command of zone time and peppering Springfield goaltender George Matteo with multiple shots early and often. The momentum shifted roughly halfway into the first period when Matthew Herman wristed a shot past Wentworth goalie Justin Diplatzi to put the Pride up 1-0. Just a few minutes later, defenseman Tino Pizzarella was handling the puck just outside of the attacking blue line and decided to test his luck by taking a shot just feet away from the red line. The shot, which was barely visible to the human eye, whizzed past Wentworth’s entire line of defense and found the top right corner of the net. Springfield would score again less than a minute later, capping off a scoring run that resulted in three goals in just over four minutes.
“We’ve been working all semester for this” said Springfield Head Coach Andrew Abraham. “We have been working on a lot of things in practice that can lead to these opportunities and we executed well today.”
Much like the first period, the scoring came in bunches in the second. It was all Wentworth for the first ten minutes as they clawed their way back into the game by scoring two goals just 16 seconds apart from each other to cut the lead to 3-2. Despite allowing two goals, Matteo had a solid night in net, as he made many timely saves by using it throughout the game.
Just as the Leopards were gaining heavy momentum, leading goal scorer Liam Whitman took matters into his own hands and rocketed a wrist shot past Wentworth’s Justin DiPlatzi’s glove to put the Pride up 4-2. Whitman’s goal was his sixth of the season. A goal by forward John Danahey with 1:11 remaining in the second period put Springfield back up three scores, allowing the Pride to hold off the surge put on by Wentworth.
“We knew we were playing well, so a couple of goals wasn’t going to shake us. Our top guys answered and that’s what we expected them to do” said Abraham.
Springfield was able to finish off Wentworth at the 9:16 mark in the third period with one final goal to make it 6-2. It was a great night offensively for Abraham’s squad as two players scored for the first time this season while key players like Whitman also chipped in. With the win, the Maroon and White improve to 3-3-0-1 and will look to go above .500 this Sunday as they face off against Coast Guard Academy.
Featured photo courtesy Jack Margaros