Nichols' Seniors Crucial in Senior Day Win vs. Curry

DUDLEY, Mass. (April 23) Seniors played a pivotal role in Nichols's 12-8 Senior Day victory over visiting Curry Saturday afternoon in the TCCC regular-season finale.

In a "win-and-in" situation for both teams, the Bison received 10 of 12 goals from seniors including the first of the season from defender Patrick Mayo (Peabody, Mass.) to clinch the eighth and final spot in the upcoming TCCC tournament. Nichols will travel to face the number one seed in the tournament on Saturday, April 30th for the quarterfinals.

Nichols (4-9, 2-8 TCCC) received three goals and an assist from senior Ryan Pacific (Danbury, Conn.) and three tallies from senior Brian Gattie (Plainfield, N.H.), including the Bison's first man-down score of the season.

Classmate Bradley O'Brien (Danbury, Conn.) scored both of Nichols' man-up goals while senior Austin Healy (Westford, Mass.) added a goal. Seniors Tim Ahern (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Matt Nash (West Springfield, Mass.) were key playmakers with two and one assists each.

Joseph Natale (Haverhill, Mass.) led Curry (5-11, 2-8 TCCC) with three goals, while Michael Snyder (Lee, Mass.) added two. Russell Lanham (Silver Spring, Md.) scored a goal and assisted two others, and Kyle Abbott (Ashland, Mass.) and John O'Donnell (Middleton, Mass.) each had a goal and an assist.

Nichols took the early lead just 1:27 into the game on a Pacific strike, but Curry answered with goals from Abbott and Natale just 41 seconds apart to take a one goal lead just over a minute later. Gattie scored man-down goal during a two-minute kill to tie it up and then finished the quarter off a pass from Ahern to give Nichols a 3-2 lead after one.

Natale struck just 36 seconds into the second quarter, but Pacific answered back nine seconds later to give Nichols the lead for good. O'Brien followed with a man-up goal from Macaulay Gillis (Northborough, Mass.) for the Bison's first two-goal advantage at 6-4 and after a Snyder score, he found the net again with his second man-up tally to regain the two-goal lead.

Lanham connected with O'Donnell with 8:18 left in the half, but Mayo carried the ball the length of the field before depositing it in the net for his first score of the season at 6:10. Ahern found Healy in front with 4:25 left to cap the half's scoring, giving the Bison an 8-5 lead at the break.

Nash found Pacific to start the third quarter, but Curry found its stride for three goals in less than three minutes, capped by a Lanham man-up tally at 9:02 to bring the Colonels within one, 9-8.

Gillis, however, held the ball at length around the cage three minutes later before rolling one under Curry netminder Michael Hibbard (North Chelmsford, Mass.) to give Nichols back its two-goal cushion.

In the fourth quarter, Bison goaltender Scott Gray (Annapolis, Md.) came up huge with six saves, shutting out the Colonels in the frame and causing a key turnover at the net with just over four minutes left that led to the Bison's final goal.

After a failed Curry clear attempt, Gattie gave Nichols a three-goal advantage with 7:12 left. Then Gray sparked a field-length run by Brian Girard (Norwood, Mass.), who paused before firing for the Bison's final strike with 3:42 left. The Bison had a two-man advantage in the final 1:27, but Curry killed it off.

Gray finished with 20 saves in the win, while Hibbard took the loss with 14 stops. Timothy McGonagle (Concord, Mass.) played the final 1:27 in net.

The Colonels outshot their hosts, 43-35 on the day, but suffered a 31-25 margin in turnovers; a game-high four were caused by Nichols' Christopher Barchard (Dracut, Mass.). Abbott scooped up a game-high seven groundballs, winning 12 of 17 draws for Curry, which won 16 of 24 as a team.

2011-04-23



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