By Kyle Dorau / Sports Editor
Central Connecticut Ice Hockey had its season come to an end at the hands of William Paterson in the Super East League Semifinals. The Blue Devils fell 4-1 to the Pioneers, who won all three games between the two teams this season.
Senior goaltender Craig Height made 28 saves and Mike DiClemente scored Central’s lone goal in a losing effort. Joe Dabkowski and Rob DiClemente each earned a helper on the only CCSU tally. The Pioneers utilized a two-goal third period to put the game away.
CCSU reached the Semifinals by defeating the Montclair State Hawks by a score of 6-2 at the neutral site Albany Country Hockey Facility. Central’s offense was powered by Joe Dabkowski’s four-goal effort. Craig Prema and Mike DiClemente each chipped in a pair of assists as the Blue Devils scored two goals in each period en route to the win. Other scorers for CCSU included Jeff Pease and Matt Williams. Carmine Vetrano got the start in net and made 34 saves to earn the victory.
The Blue Devils once again made their presence known in the Super East awards. Senior forward Mike DiClemente was the Super East Player of the Year, recognizing a regular season that saw him average more than two points per game while putting up 20 goals and 59 points. Excelling off the ice, Joe Dabkowski, Craig Prema, Brett Holmes and Michael Joy all were named to the All-Academic team. Finally, freshman forward Jeff Pease was selected to the Super East All-Rookie team.
The Blue Devils will be heavily represented in the first ever ACHA Division II All-Star Challenge. The event pits all-star teams from leagues around the country against one another in the first week of April. Players from the Blue Devils on the team include the top line of Joe Dabkowski and the DiClemente brothers, defensemen Kevin Butler and Ryan Beaulieu, as well as goalie Carmine Vetrano.
The Pioneers were blown out 8-1 in the SECHL Finals by Siena. The same score that the Saints put up on CCSU a year ago in the League Championship. Siena won the Super East for the second consecutive year. They swept the season series with the Blue Devils this season, outscoring Central 17-1.