MARLBORO, Mass. --- The Becker College men's ice hockey team opened their 2016-2017 season with a 4-2 loss to visiting Assumption College on Sunday night at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro. The Ice Hawks of Becker open at 0-1 while the Greyhounds of Assumption are now 1-1 on the year.
Becker senior goalkeeper Tyler Stepke (Mars, Pa. / Three Rivers Vengeance) finished the night with 31 saves between the pipes while Assumption sophomore netminder Brian Nazzaro (Braintree, Mass. / Walpole Express (EHL)) picked up the win with 30 stops. Shots were 35-32 in favor of the Greyhounds, while face-offs were 32-27 in Assumption's advantage.
Assumption got on the board first when junior defenseman Matt Cowles (Farmington, Conn. / Avon Old Farms (Prep)) scored 14:04 into the first period. Then exactly four minutes into the second period, Assumption junior forward Brian Farrell (Island Park, N.Y. / South Kent School (USPHL U18)) scored the insurance goal to put the Hounds up 2-0. Nine minutes later, sophomore defenseman Dante Tomassini (North Branford, Conn. / Connecticut Jr. Wolfpack (EHL)) gave the visitors a commanding 3-0 advantage. The first three Assumption goals all came on even strength.
In the third period, the Ice Hawks finally broke loose. With the advantage of a power play, senior forward Connor Merrick (Manchester, N.H. / NH Junior Monarchs) scored his first goal of the year, assisted by team captains senior forward Connor Allison (Hillsboro, Ore. / Philadelphia Junior Flyers) and senior forward Nicholas McKee (Bakersfield, Calif. / Fresno Monsters).
Assumption got a goal back on a power play seven minutes into the third, scored by senior forward Kevin Murphy (North Conway, NH / Laconia Leafs (AJHL)).
Down 4-1, Becker again attempted to rally, as Connor Allison scored on a power play at 11:10 in the third, assisted by sophomore defender Dylan Durham (Dallas, Texas / Rochester Ice Hawks). That was as close as the Ice Hawks would get, however, and it would go down in the books as a loss.
Becker will be back on the ice come Thursday when they go on the road to play at Suffolk University at 7:00 p.m. Assumption meets their next challenge on Wednesday when they play host to Post University.