PAWTUCKET, RI – Last week the Johnson & Wales University men's ice hockey team gave first-year head coach James LaCour a victory in his coaching debut. Thursday night the Wildcats had a successful first game as a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference with a 7-1 defeat of Western New England.
Western New England: 0-2, 0-1 CCC
Johnson & Wales: 2-0, 1-0 CCC
JWU: Joey Ballmer, 21 Saves, 1 GAA
WNE: Kevin Gollmer, 21 Saves 7 GAA
The seven goals are the most the Wildcats have scored since tallying seven against Becker on November 5, 2015.
The first period was evenly matched until Matt Lanzillotti (Granby, Conn.) scored a power play goal at the 14:48 mark. Johnson & Wales took control of the game during the first five minutes of the second period. Jonathan Ruiz (Williamstown, NJ) started the scoring just 1:24 in the period with the eventual game-winning goal.
Two minutes later, freshman Nicholas Gray (Stafford, Va.) scored the first goal of his collegiate career. Fran Mackin (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored 30 seconds later. Gray finished the second-period scoring with another tally at the 14:07 mark.
The Bears got on the board at the 4:21 mark of the third period on a goal from Matt Smethurst. JWU responded with two more goals, including Mackin's team-leading third goal of the year.
JWU goalkeeper Joey Ballmer (Kalamazoo, Mich.) was steady in between the pipes. He made 21 saves to get his second victory of the year. Kevin Gollmer stopped 21 shots in defeat for WNE.
Johnson & Wales goes on the road for the first time this season when they travel to Becker on Saturday for an 8:30 p.m. faceoff.