Sophomore Joey Ballmer (Kalamazoo, Mich.) recorded 27 saves for his third shutout of the season to lead the third-seeded men's ice hockey team to a 5-0 shutout victory against sixth-seeded Suffolk in the quarterfinals of the ECAC Northeast Championship at Lynch Arena/BVSC on Saturday evening.
Johnson & Wales sophomore Ben Brouillard (Somerset, Mass.) tallied the game-winning goal and added an assist while fellow sophomore Connor Bates (Laconia, N.H.) also had a goal and an assist in the win for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats got on the board first when Brouillard's team leading 11th goal of the season, with assists to Bates and junior Josh Obregon (Omaha, Neb.), put the team up 1-0 at the 8:16 mark. JWU upped the lead to 2-0 with just over a minute left in the period as Bates notched his seventh goal of the year, scoring with assists to Brouillard and sophomore James Hyatt (Coral Springs, Fla.). JWU held the two goal lead heading into the locker room after the first period of play.
After a scoreless second stanza, back-to-back blasts from the blue line by JWU junior Aaron Arm (Plantation, Fla.) and sophomore Michael Mazzotta (Mars, Pa.) a minute apart midway through the third stanza put the Wildcats up 4-0. Sophomore Logan Fortier (Newport, Vt.) wrapped up the scoring for the evening as his first collegiate goal, a power play tally, propelled the Wildcats to the 5-0 victory.
Junior Brandon Smolarek (Chesterfield, Mich.) made 26 stops in the setback for Suffolk.
With the victory Johnson & Wales improves to 15-10 on the year while Suffolk finishes the 2014-15 campaign with an 11-13-2 mark. The Wildcats will return to action on Wednesday, March 4th when they travel to Portsmouth Abbey for a semifinal matchup against second-seeded Salve Regina at 7:00 p.m.