BY STEVEN SOUSA // Nov. 18, 2017 //
The Colonels dropped the first game of their home-and-home series with first-place Endicott College, 4-2.
The Gulls entered Max Ulin Memorial Rink on Friday at 4-1 on the season, and ranked 11th nationally in the Division III hockey poll, proving to be a real test for the young Curry squad.
Two goals in the first period gave Endicott an early lead but the Colonels didn’t quit. Thirty-three seconds into the second period, Curry answered with one of their own when defenseman Mack Heisinger found the back of the net off a slap shot.
Despite the score, head coach TJ Manastersky felt that it was a “fairly even” contest and part of that was the Colonels’ ability to bounce back.
“Our resiliency was good,” Manastersky explained. “There were times in the game when it could’ve gotten out of hand and we kept sticking with it and we were always within striking distance.”
Late in the second period, the Gulls tacked on another goal when an interception at mid-ice created a 2-on-1 breakaway that forward Daniel Kucerovy was able to capitalize on, making it a 3-1 game. Manastersky said that heading into the contest, one of the things they wanted to limit was Endicott’s odd-man rushes, but ultimately, the Gulls scored on two of them.
“They are a very good team that has a high depth of skill,” said Manastersky. “Even guys on their fourth line can score given the opportunity, and that was kind of the difference tonight.”
Both special team units played well for the Colonels over the three periods. They successfully killed off eight minutes of penalties while also scoring on one of their four power-play opportunities.
That goal came with nearly two minutes remaining in the game when Curry’s goaltender Frank Cundiff was pulled giving the Colonels an extra man on the ice. Defenseman Jaret Kup was able to take advantage of that opportunity and score his second goal this year.
However, there was not quite enough time for a full comeback and Curry dropped to 3-3-1 on the season after the final horn. But the Colonels will head to Endicott this afternoon for the second game of the series after a good learning experience for a young team.
“Sometimes when you have a young team facing a really good team, you have to get in the battle,” Manastersky noted. “You gotta throw some punches, take some punches and realize they are normal and just like you.”
The puck is set to drop between Curry and Endicott at 4 p.m. at the Raymond J. Bourque Arena in Beverly, Mass.