WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A hat trick by senior forward Steve Beck (Milton, N.Y.) helped the Western New England University ice hockey team earn a 7-4 victory over Salve Regina University on Friday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Olympia Ice Center.
Beck powered the Western New England offense with his three-goal performance, while senior David Kleyman (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was also a key contributor with a goal and two assists.
Senior Matt O'Dea (Orland Park, Ill.) turned in a two-point effort (one goal, one assist) and junior Corey Kennedy (Clemmons, N.C.) buried an empty netter.
Western New England junior netminder Kyle Carducci (Rocky Hill, Conn.) finished with 46 saves on 50 Salve Regina shots.
The Seahawks were led by sophomore forward Danny Eruzione(Winthrop, Mass.), who scored a pair of goals.
Western New England jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 5:39 into the contest when Beck collected a loose puck and scored following a pair of saves by Salve Regina sophomore goalie Ulysses Lalor (Great Falls, Va.).
Beck struck again to double the Golden Bears' advantage a minute and a half later, before Salve Regina got on the board courtesy of a Colin Clapton (Canton, Mass.) goal at the 9:15 mark.
Western New England would restore its two-score lead heading into the first intermission, however, as Kleyman found the back of the net on a feed from senior Carlos Ross (Brockport, N.Y.) with 4:12 remaining in the opening frame.
The Golden Bears continued to roll offensively early in the second period, as O'Dea tallied an unassisted goal to make it 4-1 just 3:05 into the stanza.
Late in the period, the two teams traded goals as Eruzione scored for the visitors (16:05) before senior Tyler Hines (North Haven, Conn.) tipped home a Kleyman attempt on the power play (18:19) to put Western New England up 5-2.
Salve Regina drew closer on an unassisted goal by Evan Schmidbauer (San Diego, Calif.) 2:33 into the third period, but the Golden Bears again had an answer as Beck scored a power play goal two minutes later to complete his hat trick.
With less than five minutes in the contest, Eruzione notched his second of the game on the power play to get the Seahawks back to within two (6-4) for the final time.
Carducci stood tall with seven saves over the final four minutes of play, however, and Kennedy slotted home an empty-net goal in the final seconds to cap the triumph for the Golden Bears.
• Salve Regina outshot Western New England 50-33, including 25-10 in the third period. The visitors also held a 37-30 advantage in the faceoff circle.
• Western New England has now defeated Salve Regina in consecutive seasons after picking up a 3-2 overtime win against the Seahawks last November in West Springfield.
• The Golden Bears were able to capitalize on two of their three power play opportunities.
Western New England (6-13, 1-10 CCC) and Salve Regina (11-6-2, 7-3-1 CCC) will be right back in action tomorrow night at 7:05 when the Seahawks host the Golden Bears at Portsmouth Abbey Ice Rink in Portsmouth, R.I.