University of New England Scores at 0:58 to Nip Wentworth

BIDDEFORD, Maine -- Rookie Sam Cloutier (Lewiston, Maine) scored the game-winner with 0:58 remaining to provide the University of New England with a 10-9 victory over Wentworth Institute of Technology in a mutual Commonwealth Coast Conference opener Wednesday (March 28) afternoon at the Big Blue Turf.

Winners of four consecutive matches, the Nor'easters improve to 6-2 (1-0 CCC). The Leopards suffered their first defeat to fall to 5-1 overall, 0-1 in conference play.

With the score tied at 9-all in the closing moments, Cloutier maneuvered his way past a Wentworth defender on the right side and slipped a bouncing shot just inside the near post for his fourth goal of the afternoon.

UNE was assessed a penalty with 14 ticks on the clock, but the Leopards were unable to notch the equalizer with the man advantage.

Senior Tyler Thomas (Mount Pleasant, N.Y.) had a pair of goals for the Nor'easters to become the program's career leader in goals scored with 125. He ripped home a shot from just inside the attack area with 8:07 remaining in the first quarter to eclipse the previous mark established by Sean Melnick in 2002.

Junior Dan O'Gorman (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) played a solid game for Big Blue, registering a pair of goals, five ground balls and going 8 for 12 on face-offs. Junior Mike Allan (Billerica, Mass.) also scored twice.

For Wentworth, junior Steve Glover (Marston Mills, Mass.), and sophomores Ryan Coakley (Flemington, N.J.) and Michael Cushera (Waltham, Mass.) scored two goals apiece. Coakley added two assists.

The game with tight the entire way, with neither team holding more than a two-goal advantage. The score was tied 2-2 after one period, 5-5 at the half, and 7-7 after three periods. In the deciding frame, Glover's 20th goal of the year put the Leopards up, 8-7, before Cloutier evened the match for the home team with 13:16 left. Wentworth's Coakley and UNE's Allan traded scores four minutes apart, then the two teams went scoreless for nearly nine minutes, setting up Cloutier's game-winner.

Senior Nick McMahon (Westfield, Mass.) was credited with a game-high seven ground balls for the Nor'easters, who received nine saves from senior Jay Letendre (Southington, Conn.) in goal. UNE led in shots (41-28), ground balls (38-25) and face-offs won (14-8).

Junior Jared Proulx (Nashua, N.H.) stopped 17 shots for Wentworth, which scored four man-up goals in six opportunities.

Both teams return to conference play this weekend. The Leopards host Nichols College at 2:00 p.m. and UNE entertains Roger Williams University in a 3:00 p.m. start.


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