When and Where: November 25, 2017 – Hooksett, N.H. (The Ice Den)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 3, Western New England University 1
Records: SNHU 3-2-1, WNEU 3-5-1
Sophomore Kurt Gutting (Weymouth, Mass.) stopped 22 shots in his second career start and classmate Brett Strawn (Wareham, Mass.) turned in a two-assist afternoon, as the Southern New Hampshire University ice hockey team skated to a 3-1 win over Western New England University in the opening game of the 2017 Manchester PAL/Stovepipe Hockey Tournament at the Ice Den Saturday.
The Penmen advance to Sunday's Manchester PAL/Stovepipe Championship game, where they will face the winner of Saturday's second semifinal between Suffolk University and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth at 4:40 p.m.
Gutting steered aside eight shots in the first and three in the early stages of the second to help keep the game scoreless at the midway point of the frame. Sophomore Jared Goudreau (Manchester, N.H.) put the Penmen ahead just over eight minutes into the stanza with his second of the year. After senior Timothy Baylis (West Haven, Conn.) had his shot from the left faceoff circle denied, Strawn corralled the rebound and slid a feed to Goudreau in the slot, and he hammered a one-timer bar down to make it 1-0 at 11:42.
The lead doubled less than two minutes later when Strawn tallied his second helper of the stanza on a powerplay goal off the stick of senior Chris Moquin (Hooksett, N.H.). Senior Matt McLelland (Reading, Mass.) fed Moquin along the leftwing boards, and he cycled the puck to Strawn in the corner. As Strawn began to take the puck behind the net, he sent a behind-the-back pass to Moquin along the goal line, and he punched home his fourth of the year with 6:24 remaining in the frame.
Neither side was able to crack the scoreboard for the remainder of the second and the first six minutes of the third before freshman Steven Dumond (Seekonk, Mass.) registered his first career goal with 13:46 left in regulation. The Penmen sent the puck into the Golden Bears' end, and after the Western New England netminder fanned on a clearing attempt behind the cage, Dumond scooped up the loose puck on the doorstep and deposited it into the open goal.
The Golden Bears would not go quietly, however, as they trimmed the SNHU advantage back to a pair at 8:36 of the third. Steve Beck potted his sixth of the year with help from Connor Graham and Matt O'Dea to put Western New England back in the game. It would be as close as WNE would get, as Gutting kicked away the final five shots the Golden Bears put on frame.
- The win was the third-straight for the Penmen, who have outscored their opponents 18-8 during that stretch.
- Southern New Hampshire outshot WNE, 26-23, on Saturday, including 15-7 in the second period. The Penmen converted one of their two powerplay opportunities and held the Golden Bears scoreless on their lone man advantage chance.
- Goudreau's goal was his second of the season and No. 12 in his career. Moquin's was the 13th of his career and fourth of the year.
Southern New Hampshire will take on the winner of Saturday's second game between UMass-Dartmouth and Suffolk in Sunday's (November 26) final at 4:40 p.m.
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