Special Teams Carries Nichols Past Becker

DUDLEY, Mass. (Mar. 31) Nichols scored in six of eight man-up opportunities, and the Bison dealt Becker a 16-8 non-conference loss on Vendetti Field.

Nichols, which was paced by four goals from Austin Healy (Westford, Mass.) and five points each from Macaulay Gillis (Northborough, Mass.) and Bradley O' Brien (Danbury, Conn.), improves to 3-4 overall, while Becker dips to 3-5 on the season.

Three of Healy's goals were man-up scored. O'Brien scored three goals to go with two assists, while Gillis had four assists and a goal, connecting with Healy on two occasions.

David Deschenes (Gales Ferry, Conn.) scored three times and assisted on another for the Hawks, and Jeff Petersen (Syracuse, N.Y.) added two scores.

Nichols strode out to a 3-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and extended it to 6-0 before Petersen broke the Bison's pace with an unassisted score at 6:33 of the second stanza. Nichols defender Zac Smith (Wilbraham, Mass.) sprinted up the field to crash in and convert a pass from Pacific to start Nichols next run off with his first career goal at 4:58. The Bison carried a 9-1 lead into halftime, due in part to a 3 of 4 man-up conversion.

The teams traded goals through most of the third quarter before Healy scored his third man-up tally to spark a three-goal run to end the quarter with a 15-4 advantage. Devan Maher (Leominster, Mass.) opened the fourth quarter scoring for the Bison, but Becker responded with four-straight to close out the game.

Nichols starter Scott Gray (Annapolis, Md.) earned the win with seven saves, allowing one goal in the first half. Shahar Shatzberger (Peabody, Mass.) finished out the game with five saves. Michael Munoz (Avon, Conn.) made three saves in the start for Becker before giving way to Kyle Daly (Auburn, Mass.), who made two saves in the final 23 minutes.

Nichols held a 39-37 advantage in groundballs, led by six from Christopher Barchard (Dracut, Mass.). Tim Dooley (Tewskbury, Mass.) picked up five on a 5 of 9 faceoff performance. John Bourque (Atkinson, N.H.) had five groundballs for Becker, whom Nichols limited to a 1 of 7 man-up conversion.

The Bison are back in action Saturday in a home 2:00 p.m. The Commonwealth Coast Conference game against University of New England. Becker hosts Norwich Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

2011-03-31



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