BEVERLY, Mass. – Third-seeded Salve Regina University claimed its first Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Northeast Tournament title in program history on Saturday afternoon in a front of a sellout crowd at Raymond J. Bourque Arena with a 4-0 victory over first-seeded Endicott.
With the win, Salve Regina (17-10-1) has also earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament – its first in program history – and eclipsed its program record for victories in a season for the second straight year. With the loss, Endicott sees its magical run as a first-year NCAA Division III varsity program come to a close at 16-9-2 overall.
Salve Regina struck first at the 8:11 mark of the opening period when Kevin Clare (Chicago, Ill.) gathered a loose puck near the blue line and sniped a wrister through traffic past Endicott goaltender Kevin Aldridge (Beverly Hills, Mich.) for his first goal of the season (27 games played) and a 1-0 advantage.
In the second, Tommy Evangelista (Methuen, Mass.) made it 2-0 at 13:59 with a one-timer from the slot off a pass via Shaun Altshuller (Nepean, Ontario), who was positioned behind the net, for his third of the year.
The Seahawks tacked on two more goals in the third as Alex Pompeo (Hingham, Mass.) netted an empty netter from his own blue line at 17:57, while James Malone (Beachwood, N.J.) tucked home his fifth goal of the season at 18:24 to cap the scoring.
Salve Regina goaltender Blake Wojtala (Trenton, Mich.) stopped a season-high 43 shots to improve to 13-7-0 on the year and also earn ECAC Northeast Tournament Most Outstanding Player (MOP) honors. In three games in the tournament, Woltjala did not allow a single goal and compiled 93 saves.
Aldridge finished the game with 45 saves in the loss (16-9-2).
ECAC NORTHEAST ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Most Outstanding Player (MOP)
– Blake Wojtala (Trenton, Mich.), Salve Regina University
- Pat Thompson (Hellertown, Pa.), Salve Regina University
- Peter Gintoli (Shelton, Conn.), Salve Regina University
- Kevin Aldridge (Beverly Hills, Mich.), Endicott College
- Tommy Besinger (Milton, Mass.), Endicott College
- Frank Butler (East Haven, Conn.), Nichols College
- Stephen McManus (Westwood, Mass.), Wentworth Institute of Technology
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Salve Regina is now 2-1-0 against Endicott in the all-time series.
- The Seahawks improved to 8-13 in postseason games with today's win.
- Altshuller and Liam Centrella (Andover, Mass.) both finished the contest with a pair of assists (both season-highs).
- Endicott's Ryan Dougherty (Sterling Heights, Mich.) registered a game-high six blocked shots, defensively.
- Clare finished with a plus-4 +/- rating, while Evangelista, Altshuller, Centrella, and Pompeo were all a plus-3.