BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore Brandon Stroud (Clarksville, Ind.) snapped a 2-all tie with 1:37 left in regulation as the Western New England hockey team spoiled Wentworth's home opener, 3-2, in the ECAC Northeast opener for both squads. The win was the first-ever victory for the Golden Bears at Matthews Arena, having gone 0-11 in the previous 11 meetings.
Western New England wasted little time getting on the board as the visitors took advantage of an early power-play opportunity. At the 42-second mark, freshman William Preston (Shakopee, Minn.) set up junior Chris Connors who beat Leopard netminder Joel Miller (Calgary, Alta.) to the glove side. Stroud and junior John Kelly (Staten Island, N.Y.) set up junior Brian Prost (Parma, Ohio) on the power play, giving the Golden Bears a 2-0 lead at 10:39.
An intense second period saw Wentworth outshoot Western New England by a 14-8 margin, but neither team would find the back of the net. The Leopards had a chance, while, on a five-minute power play, sophomore Kevin Crowe (Galloway, N.J.) was awarded a penalty shot after a Golden Bear skater covered the puck up in the crease. Crowe's attempt was wide, keeping the lead at 2-0 after 40:00 of play.
The Leopards broke the ice at 5:16 of the third when senior Shaun Jameson (Long Beach, Calif.) scored off passes from Crowe and junior Andrew Yarber (Livonia, Mich.). A Western New England penalty at 15:30 saw the Black & Gold use its time out and just 12 seconds later tie the game when sophomore Mike Domsodi (Kirkland, Que.) scored from Yarber and Crowe.
While Wentworth continued to apply pressure in hopes of completing its second comeback in as many nights, it was Stroud who took a pass from Kelly and beat Miller for the 3-2 lead. Miller was pulled for an extra attacker with 1:19 left but, despite two shots on goal for the Leopards, the Golden Bears held on for the win. Wentworth held a 21-11 shot advantage in the third frame.
Junior Eric Sorensen (Fairport, N.Y.) made 40 saves – including 19 in the third period – to pick up the win. Miller made 24 saves. Wentworth held a 42-27 shot advantage and a 39-36 face-off advantage.
Western New England improves to 2-1-0 overall and 1-0 in ECAC Northeast play. The Golden Bears host Curry next Thursday night. Wentworth, which saw its 12 game, regular-season unbeaten streak come to an end, falls to 2-1-1 (0-1) and is at Johnson & Wales on Wednesday.