Western New England’s Season Ends with 8-1 Loss to No. 5 Salve Regina in CCC Quarterfinals

Junior Connor Graham scored his fifth goal of the season in Western New England's CCC Quarterfinal loss at Salve Regina on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Junior Connor Graham scored his fifth goal of the season in Western New England's CCC Quarterfinal loss at Salve Regina on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Graham scores lone goal for Golden Bears

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (February 17, 2018) –
The eighth-seeded Western New England University ice hockey team was eliminated from the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament with an 8-1 loss to top-seeded and No. 5 nationally ranked Salve Regina University on Saturday afternoon in quarterfinal round action at Portsmouth Abbey Ice Rink. 

With the win, Salve Regina (20-4-2) advances to the CCC semifinals, where the Seahawks will take on fifth-seeded Nichols next weekend. Western New England's season comes to a close at 9-14-3.

Top Performers
• Junior defenseman Connor Graham (Norfolk, Mass.) scored Western New England's lone goal late in the first period, while classmate Matt O'Dea (Orland Park, Ill.) and freshman Adamo Giacomin (Richmond Hill, Ont.) recorded five shots each.

• Salve Regina was led by sophomore forward Jack Billings (Oak Lawn, Ill.), who scored two goals and added an assist.
• Freshman Erik Udahl (East Walpole, Mass.) also posted a three-point effort with a goal and two assists, while freshman John McLean (North Andover, Mass.) found the back of the net twice.
• Junior netminder Blake Wojtala (Trenton, Mich.) made 25 saves on 26 shots for the Seahawks.

Game Review
Salve Regina jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 1:10 into the contest on a goal by senior Colin Clapton (Canton, Mass.). McLean netted his first of the game at the 9:38 mark and Billings struck 42 seconds later as the Seahawks claimed a 3-0 advantage midway through the opening period.

Graham got Western New England on the board with 1:56 left in the frame, but the Golden Bears faced a 3-1 deficit at the first intermission.

Billings buried his second goal of the game midway through the second period as the Seahawks held a 4-1 advantage through 40 minutes of play.

Salve Regina broke the game open in the third period with four more goals, including a trio of power play tallies.

Notes
• The Seahawks outshot the Golden Bears 64-26 and capitalized on four of their six power play chances.
• Western New England junior goalie Kevin Gollmer (Flourtown, Pa.) finished with 56 saves in the loss.
• Two of Graham's five goals this season have come against Salve Regina. He scored the overtime game-winner in Western New England's 3-2 triumph over the Seahawks back on November 3.