Big Blue Stuns Endicott in Thrilling Battle

BIDDEFORD, Maine -- Junior Nick Gross (Kennebunk, Maine) netted his fourth goal of the game with 1:13 remaining and University of New England held on the final seconds to defeat Endicott, 10-9, in a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) match played under the lights on Tuesday (Apr. 16) at the Big Blue Turf.

It marks the first time in the last 20 tries that the Nor'easters (10-4, 4-2 CCC) have topped the Gulls (10-4, 5-1 CCC) -- a streak dating back to 1997.

Making his first start of the season, rookie netminder John Dusel (Wilbraham, Mass.) did not have to make a save in the closing moments to preserve the lead for the hosts, but did turn away 15 shots on the night, including seven in the 4th quarter.

UNE came out of halftime down one (5-4), and after more than half of the 3rd frame elapsed without any scoring, the Nor'easters received goals from sophomore Geoff Bruno (Durham, Conn.) and junior Pat Wolfe (Phippsburg, Maine) about a minute apart to jump in front. Big Blue would not trail again.

Bruno added another before Endicott senior Connor McCormack (Norwalk, Conn.) got one back to make it 7-6 heading into the final stanza.

Gross kicked off the last period with his second marker of the evening at the 11:42 mark. Senior Peter Erickson (Yarmouth, Maine) answered for the Gulls with 6:08 on the clock, however, Gross restored the two-goal cushion with 5:02 to go.

Endicott -- which out-shot the home side by a 21-4 margin in the 4th session -- got a score from sophomore Scott McCormack (Norwalk, Conn.) and the third of the contest from Connor McCormack (1:27) to even things up.

The ensuing face-off went to UNE, and Gross found a seam in the defense before whipping a shot into the left side of the cage.

The Gulls had three attempts to tie as the final seconds ticked away -- all sailed just wide of the target.

Wolfe joined Bruno with a pair of goals to aid the Big Blue attack. On the defensive end, senior Nick McMahon (Westfield, Mass.) contributed a team-high six ground balls and three caused turnovers.

Sophomore Kyle Weber (West Hartford, Conn.) matched teammate Connor McCormack with three scores on the night for Endicott. Senior Sam Ozycz (Cheshire, Conn.) was outstanding on game restarts for the visitors, gaining possession on 20 of 23 face-offs and totaling 15 ground balls.

The Nor'easters stepped out to an early 2-0 lead behind markers from junior Dan O'Gorman (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) and Gross. Once Weber and sophomore Harrison Cotter (Lordship, Conn.) had made it 2-2, UNE junior Mike Allan (Billerica, Mass.) got into the scoring column with 49 seconds left in the 1st to give the hosts a slim edge after 15 minutes.

Endicott responded with three of the four goals in the 2nd period to grab the advantage at the midway break.

Both squads get back to work on Saturday (1:00 p.m.). UNE will look to set a new single-season record for wins with a home date against Salve Regina University, while the Gulls are set to visit Bowdoin College for a non-league clash.

2013-04-17



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