Western New England Earns 4-4 Tie at Nichols

Junior CJ Totillo scored his third goal of the season in Western New England's 4-4 tie at Nichols on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Junior CJ Totillo scored his third goal of the season in Western New England's 4-4 tie at Nichols on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Smethurst, Beck & O'Dea all post two-point efforts for Golden Bears

HARRISVILLE, R.I. (February 3, 2018) –
The Western New England University ice hockey team built a three-goal first period lead in an eventual 4-4 tie with Nichols College on Saturday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at Levy Rink. 

Top Performers
• Senior captain Matt Smethurst (Rexford, N.Y.) and juniors Steve Beck (Milton, N.Y.) and Matt O'Dea (Orland Park, Ill.) all posted two-point efforts for the Golden Bears with a goal and an assist each.
• Junior CJ Totillo (Brooklyn, N.Y.) also found the back of the net, while classmate Kevin Gollmer (Flourtown, Pa.) made 40 saves in net.

• Nichols was led by senior Scott Cuthrell (Waterford, Mich.) and sophomore J.B. Baker (Columbia, Md.), who both factored into two scores with a goal and an assist each.
• Junior defenseman Ben Campbell (Duluth, Minn.) and sophomore forward Vincent Crivello (Rosemere, Que.) also scored for the Bison, while junior forward Matthew Menta (Lima, Pa.) handed out three assists.

Game Review
Western New England utilized a power play opportunity to open the scoring 8:39 into the contest, as Smethurst buried his fourth goal of the season with assists from freshman defenseman Adamo Giacomin (Richmond Hill, Ont.) and Beck.

The Golden Bears doubled their advantage at the 13:58 mark, when Totillo got behind the Bison defense on a breakaway and beat Nichols senior netminder Colin Brennan (Chester, N.J.).

The visitors made it 3-0 with 2:33 remaining in the opening frame, as Beck tallied a short-handed goal with the help of juniors Edmond Rogers (Creve Coeur, Mo.) and David Kleyman (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who were credited with assists on the play. Despite being outshot 16-7 in the first period, the Golden Bears held a three-goal advantage after 20 minutes.

Nichols was able to pull to within a goal heading into the third period as Campbell (0:22) and Cuthrell (17:36) scored early and late in the middle frame, respectively.

The Bison equalized on Crivello's 12th goal of the season just 50 seconds into the third, before taking the lead with 2:10 left in regulation when Baker was successful on a penalty shot attempt.

O'Dea slotted home a rebound just 26 seconds later, however, to send the game to overtime. Neither team was able to score in the five-minute extra frame as Western New England settled for its third tie of the season.

Notes
• Nichols outshot Western New England 44-21 and held a 59-21 advantage in the faceoff circle.
• O'Dea (30 points), Beck (25) and Smethurst (21) have accounted for 48 percent (76-156) of the Golden Bears' points this season.
• Gollmer has recorded 40+ saves on three occasions this season after posting consecutive 49-save efforts against UMass Dartmouth and Endicott on November 26 and December 1.

Up Next
Western New England (8-12-3, 3-11-2 CCC) wraps up its regular season schedule next week, as the Golden Bears travel to Becker on Thursday night before hosting the Hawks for Senior Day on Saturday afternoon. Nichols (14-6-3, 9-4-3 CCC) completes its regular season slate with a Friday-Sunday series against Salve Regina.