PROVIDENCE, RI – Playing at the Dunkin' Donuts Center seems to bring out the Johnson & Wales University men's hockey team's offense. The Wildcats scored twice in the first and second periods to defeat Suffolk, 4-2, on Thursday.
Suffolk: 3-7-4, 1-5-2 CCC
Johnson & Wales: 5-8-2, 1-6-1 CCC
SU: Kevin Venturoso – 33 saves, 4 goals
JWU: Joey Ballmer - 31 saves, 2 goals
It's the third year in a row that Johnson & Wales has scored four or more goals in its annual game at the Dunk. The Wildcats have won their last three contest in the arena for a 3-1 mark overall.
Johnson & Wales got on the board right away as Fran Mackin (Philadelphia, Pa.) swooped in from the left side and slid the puck through the five-hole to give the Wildcats the lead just 42 seconds into the game.
The Wildcats got another goal when Stefan Brucato (Lake Elsinore, Calif.) stole the puck in the Rams' end, split the defenders and scored his fourth goal of the season to make it 2-0. Suffolk got on the board in the second period when Connor Henry shoveled in the puck during a scrum in front of the net.
The work of Ryan Sete (Jackson, Mich.) set up the Wildcats' third goal. Holding off the defender with one hand and controlling the puck with the other, he got the puck to Ben Brouillard (Somerset, Mass.) in the slot and he buried the puck in the back of the net for the eventual game-winning goal.
JWU had a three-goal advantage when Victor Carlsson (Kalmar, Sweden) won the faceoff and scored on a wraparound goal. The Rams cut the margin to 4-2 just before the end of the second period as Brendan Heinze put back the rebound of Shayne Bailey's shot.
Johnson & Wales had a 41-33 advantage in shots. JWU goaltender Joey Ballmer (Kalamazoo, Mich.) made 31 saves for his fifth victory of the year. Neither team could convert on the power play as the Wildcats were 0-4 and the Rams went 0-3.
The Wildcats skate again on Saturday when they travel to Western New England for a 2:40 pm start.