PAWTUCKET, RI – Since scoring 12 goals in its first two games, the Johnson & Wales University men's ice hockey team has struggled to find the back of the net. The Wildcats mustered three goals on Saturday night but it wasn't enough as they lost 5-3 to Endicott.
Endicott: 2-2-2, 1-2-1 CCC
Johnson & Wales: 2-3, 1-3 CCC
EC: Kevin Aldridge: 28 Saves, 3 Goals
JWU: Joey Ballmer: 20 Saves, 4 Goals
Ross Olson (EC): 2 Goal, 2 Assists
Cam Bleck (EC): 2 Goals
Ben Brouillard (JWU): 1 Goal, 1 Assist
The Gulls made the Wildcats pay for their first penalty. Just 12 seconds after Zach England went into the penalty box, Endicott's Cam Bleck scored the first goal of the game. Two minutes later Ross Olsson made it a two-goal game when he scored off the one-time pass from Jason Kalinowski.
Johnson & Wales got on the board seven minutes into the second period. Ben Brouillard (Somerset, Mass.) sent a pass into the slot where Fran Mackin (Philadelphia, Pa.) barred it into the back of the net for his team-leading fourth goal of the year. Ninety seconds later, however, EC pushed the lead back to two goals when Ross Olsson scored his second goal of the game.
Endicott scored with 4:23 left in the game and appeared to have the contest in hand, but the Wildcats made a valiant effort in the last two minutes. With the goalie pulled, JWU got goals from Brouillard and Stefan Brucato (Lake Elsinore, Calif.) to pull within 4-3 with 36 seconds remaining. Bleck scored an empty-net goal, his second of the game, just before time expired to seal the victory.
Endicott was efficient on the power play, converting two of its four opportunities. JWU was 1-4 on the power play but had a 31-25 advantage in shots.
The Wildcats go on the road for their next contest, traveling to the University of New England for a 7 p.m. face off on Thursday.