Southern Maine Downs Suffolk 3-2 on Gardiner Goal

Southern Maine Downs Suffolk 3-2 on Gardiner Goal

Southern Maine Downs Suffolk 3-2

            CHARLESTOWN, Mass. -- Freshman Tyler Gardiner (Watertown, Mass.) snapped a 2-2 tie at 7:53 of the third period and the visiting University of Southern Maine Huskies held on to defeat the Suffolk University Rams 3-2 in a New England Hockey Conference game Friday evening.

            The win snapped a four-game winless stretch (0-3-1) for the Huskies, and improved their record to 3-12-3 overall and 3-8-1 in NEHC play.  The Rams, 7-10-0 overall and 4-7-0 in conference games, had their three-game winning streak snapped by the loss.

            Trailing 2-1 at the start of the third period, Suffolk tied the game at 2-2 when sophomore Joseph Mortillaro (Tampa, Fla.) scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal 26 seconds into the period.  The Huskies killed off the remainder of the second penalty to keep the score tied.

            Gardiner scored the game winner converting a set-up from senior Conor Ferrera (Manhattan Beach Calif.).  The goal was the second of the season for Gardiner.

            Suffolk pulled senior goalie Michael Levine (Clarendon Hill, Ill.) in the final minute, and went on the power play with 53 seconds left to play, but the Huskies were able to hold off the Rams to preserve the win.

            Ferrera scored the first goal of the game at 5:15 of the opening period off an assist from rookie Brendan Dowler (New Preston, Conn.).  Ferrera's goal would be the only scoring in the period as Levine stopped 14 shots as USM outshot Suffolk 15-7.

            Midway through the second period, Suffolk equalized on a goal from sophomore Miller Rubin (Longrove, Ill.).  USM regained the lead on senior Parker Sanderson's (Bangor, Maine) first goal of the season off an assist from Gardiner.

            USM sophomore goalie Anthony D'Aloisio (Frisco, Texas) made 42 saves, including 35 over the final two periods.  Levine stopped 24 shots before being lifted with 1:06 to play.

            The Huskies travel to Johnson and Wales University on Saturday (4 p.m.).  The Rams host New England College on Saturday (7 p.m.).