Seahawks clinch top spot in playoffs; set program record for wins in a season

Erik Udahl scored twice for the Seahawks a in a 4-0 win (Photo by Jordin Bonacorsi)
Erik Udahl scored twice for the Seahawks a in a 4-0 win (Photo by Jordin Bonacorsi)

HARRISVILLE, R.I. – The Salve Regina University men's ice hockey team set a single-season program record for wins and clinched the number one seed in the playoffs with a 4-0 victory over Nichols College Friday night in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action.

The victory helps reset the program record for win in a season. The previous record of 17 wins was set in 2015-16 when the Seahawks won their first ever conference championship.

Freshmen Erik Udahl (2-1-3) and Eric Lipa (1-2-3) each collected three points for the Seahawks, who improved to 18-4-2 on the season (13-2-2 CCC). Junior netminder Blake Wojtala turned aside all 32 shots he faced to record his 16th win of the season.

"Accomplishing our current record is a strong testament to the talent and commitment of the team and our captain's leadership. I am very proud of the guys," said head coach Zech Klann.

Following a scoreless first period which saw the Bison outshoot the Seahawks 14-4, the Seahawks ripped off three goals in the opening 9:07 of the second period – including two in a span of 1:02 – to take a commanding 3-0 lead. Udahl scored his ninth of the campaign 36 seconds into the period, then potted his 10th at 8:05. Senior Pat Thompson's seven of the season at 9:07 extended the lead to three before Lipa's second of 2017-18 made it 4-0.

Nichols senior netminder Colin Brennan surrendered four goals on 16 shots and was replaced at the start of the third period by freshman Henry Burns, who recorded five saves.