The third seeded men's ice hockey squad dropped a 9-3 decision against second seeded Salve Regina in the semifinals of the 2015 ECAC Northeast championship at Portsmouth Abbey on Wednesday evening.
Salve Regina sophomore Evan Schultz (Durham, N.H.) opened the scoring early when he connected on a pass from freshman Joseph Yeadon (Burlington, Mass.) at the 7:54 mark. Junior Lucas Sousa (Billerica, Mass.) put in a shot from the top of the face-off circle at the 8:51 mark to extend the Seahawks lead to 2-0. Salve Regina struck again just twenty seconds later when senior John Scorcia (Hudson, Fla.) scored with assists to Sousa and Schultz to make the score 3-0 midway through the first stanza. The host Seahawks took the three-goal lead heading in the first intermission with a 20-4 advantage in shots for the period.
Salve Regina tacked on the fourth goal of the game just :16 into the second period as Scorcia scored his second goal of the night, a power play goal with an assist to junior Alex Pompeo (Hingham, Mass.). Scorcia completed his hat trick for the evening as his goal at the 9:04 mark of the second period, making the score 5-0. After another goal by Salve Regina midway through the second period JWU was able to get on the board with just :14 left in the second period as sophomore Matt Lanzillotti (Chicago, Ill.) blasted in a shot from the point with assists to sophomore Stefan Brucato (Lake Elsinore) and fellow sophomore Michael Mazzotta (Mars, Pa.) to cut the lead to 6-1 after two periods of play.
The Wildcats added a goal at the 6:14 mark of the third when senior Alex Porrier (Rutland, Vt.) scored with an assist to sophomore Greg Soltes (Cleveland, Ohio) to make the score 6-2. Schultz's second goal of the game put Salve Regina up 7-2. The Wildcats cut into the lead again at the 12:49 mark as a power play goal from Brucato with an assist to sophomore James Hyatt (Coral Springs, Fla.) put the score at 7-3. That would be all the scoring for JWU, however as the host Seahawks added a pair of goals late in the third period en route to the 9-3 victory.
Sophomore Joey Ballmer (Kalamazoo, Mich.) had 24 saves in the setback for Johnson & Wales while sophomore Alexander Devine (Hampton, N.H.) made 20 stops for Salve Regina in the victory.
With the loss Johnson & Wales wraps up the 2014-15 with a 15-11-1 record. Salve Regina, 12-9-3 on the season, advances to the ECAC Northeast Championship game and will travel to Nichols on Saturday, March 7th at 4:40 p.m. The winner receives the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship.