REISTERSTOWN, Md. - The Stevenson men's ice hockey team scored three unanswered goals, including a pair in the third period, as the Mustangs got back in the win column with a 4-1 non-conference victory over Buffalo State Friday evening at Reisterstown Sportsplex.
The Mustangs (5-1-2) are unbeaten in their last five game at home dating back to last season, outscoring their opponents, 22-5. It is also the fourth time this season the team has held its opponent to two goals or less on home ice.
Sophomore Dominic Brenza got the hosts on the board first, just 3:59 into the game on assists from his senior line mates Jordan Watt and Mike Davis. The line has had a hand in 14 of the team's 26 goals this season and has combined for 29 points on 11 goals and 18 assists. It is the third goal in the last three games for Brenza while Watt set a new career-high with his ninth assist this season.
The hosts nearly doubled its least after sophomore Colton McMenamin won an offensive zone face-off back to classmate Colin Woods whose shot beat goalkeeper Ian Sylves but dinged off the left post. McMenamin won five of his 12 face-off opportunities.
The Bengals (4-3-1) tied the game midway through the opening period, scoring just 33 seconds into the power play. It is only the third power play goal Stevenson has allowed this season, with two of those goals coming in the last two games.
Stevenson went on the power play for the first time with 1:49 remaining in the first period and Davis nearly netted his fifth power play goal but he could not get a shot off on a breakaway as the Buffalo State defense caught him from behind. The Mustangs had 10 second left on the man advantage to start the second period but the Bengals won the opening face-off and killed off the remaining time.
Just 24 seconds after the visitors penalty expired, the Mustangs went to the box for the second time on a hooking call. But just 23 second on the penalty kill, sophomore Christian Ripley scored the team's first shorthanded goal of the season on assists from sophomores Austin Swingle and Jake McNamara.
Senior Jacob Caffrey kept the hosts lead at one as he made a point blank save on a breakaway opportunity from Hugo Petit who got behind the Mustangs defense. Caffrey finished the game with 23 saves, including 11 in the third period.
McMenamin pushed Stevenson's lead to two with a third period goal at the 8:22 mark on assists from Woods and freshman Martino Piccarello. It is the first career point Piccarello.
Trailing by two, the Bengals pulled Sylves with 2:22 remaining in regulation. Buffalo State was whistled for too many players on the ice with 1:03 left and opted to leave Sylves on the bench. The visitors were able to clear the puck after the winning the face-off by sophomore Jivan Sidhu eventually scored on the empty net on an assist from Ripley. It is the second career multi-point game for Ripley and first this season.
Buffalo State outshot the Mustangs, 24-20 and won 36 of the 61 face-offs. Meanwhile, the Mustangs were whistled for a program-low two penalties and finished 1-for-3 on the power play.
Stevenson returns to action on Saturday, November 25 when the Mustangs host Buffalo State for the second of a two-game series beginning at 5:30 p.m.