BEVERLY, Mass. – Freshman Tommy Besigner (Milton, Mass.) scored a pair of goals in a four-goal third period as the Endicott College ice hockey team broke open a scoreless tie with a 4-0 win over Wentworth Institute of Technology in a semifinal round contest of the 2016 ECAC Northeast Tournament.
With the win the top-seeded Gulls, playing in their inaugural varsity season, improve to 16-8-2 and will host third-seeded Salve Regina 16-10-1. The Seahawks ended second-seeded Nichols' two-year run as league champions with a 3-0 win. The Leopards conclude the 2015-16 season with a 10-15-2 mark.
Through the first two frames, both Wentworth senior goalie Joel Miller (Calgary, Alta.) and Endicott freshman goalie Kevin Aldridge (Beverly Hills, Mich.) were solid between the pipes, keeping the game scoreless. Endicott had a 23-19 shot advantage through the first 40 minutes. Wentworth had a chance to take a 1-0 lead, however sophomore Nick Newman's (Saugus, Calif.) bid from in front was denied by a sprawling Aldridge. Endicott had a pair of chances to break the ice, including when Miller stopped freshman Parker Wood (Rochester Hills, Mich.) on a breakaway, and, after a shorthanded situation, freshman Shamus Maloney's (North Attleboro, Mass.) shot was tipped away by sophomore Ryan Sullivan (Whately, Mass.) just before the period ended.
Besigner got the only goal Endicott would need just 16 seconds into the third period as he won the faceoff in the right circle and sent a wrist shot to the upper left corner. Freshman Ross Olsson (Billerica, Mass.) fed an open freshman Parker Wood (Rochester Hills, Mich.) on the right wing as Wood's shot roofed the glove side from the dot at 5:58.
Olsson gave the Gulls a 3-0 lead after being set up by freshmen Carter Horwitz (St. Louis, Mo.) and Josh Bowes (Sturgeon County, Alta.) on the power play at 16:03. Miller was pulled for an extra attacker and Besinger potted an empty-net goal with 1:12 left to close out the scoring. Bowes and Olsson recorded helpers on Besigner's second marker of the game.
Aldridge made 30 stops to pick up the win for Endicott while Miller turned aside 37 shots, one shy of his career high. Endicott had a 41-30 shot advantage.
2016 ECAC NORTHEAST TOURNAMENT
First Round, Saturday, Feb. 27-Sunday, February 28
Saturday, February 27
No. 2 Nichols 5, No. 7 Becker 0
No. 3 Salve Regina 2, No. 6 Johnson & Wales 0
Sunday, February 28
No. 5 Wentworth 4, No. 4 Suffolk 3 (OT)
Semifinals, Wednesday, March 2
No. 1 Endicott 4, No. 5 Wentworth 0
No. 3 Salve Regina 3, No. 2 Nichols 0
Finals, Saturday, March 6
No. 3 Salve Regina (16-10-1) at No. 1 Endicott (16-8-2), 3:00 p.m.