Great feeling for a college hockey player: Exceeding your team’s number of victories from the previous winter.

Even better feeling: Reaching that milestone while you still have almost three weeks left to finish your holiday shopping.

Two products of the St. Dominic Regional High School program have helped restore the expectation of success early this season at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass., where the Golden Bears are 5-5 after a four-win campaign in 2005-06.

Shawn Longley of Raymond shone brightly in Tuesday night’s triumph over Framingham State. Longley, a junior forward, assisted a power-play goal late in the third period to help the Golden Bears ice the victory and claw to the .500 mark.

Longley is a consistent table-setter for WNEC. The assist was his seventh of the season, tying Longley for the team lead. When his goal in last week’s 6-2 victory over Assumption is added to the mix, Longley’s eight points through 10 games are tied for second on the club.

Tuesday night’s game was the 50th of Longley’s career with the Golden Bears. He has notched five goals and 17 assists in that span.

One of Longley’s long-time teammates anchors the WNEC defense. Brandon Gervais has emerged as a stalwart between the pipes.

The junior from Lewiston has started nine games in goal, carving out a 4-5 mark with a 4.07 goals-against average. Gervais has stopped 88 percent of the shots sent his way, averaging 26 saves per game.

In the finest performance of his collegiate career, Gervais turned away 40 shots Nov. 21 in a 4-3 win over Suffolk. Gervais’ steady showing permitted WNEC to rally with three goals in the third-period, including a game-tying strike assisted by Longley.

Gervais chalked up 31 saves in a 4-1 verdict over Lebanon Valley last month. It was only WNEC’s second victory over the non-conference rival in eight tries and its first since 1998-99.

The two local players are sport management majors at WNEC, which competes in ECAC Northeast in NCAA Division III.

Stoppers

While the two former Saints are merely getting started on the ice, two erstwhile Lewiston Blue Devils recently wrapped up their football campaign at Western New England.

Senior strong safety Brent Dube finished with 31 solo tackles, ranking second on the team. His 70 total stops were third on the Golden Bears’ defense.

Dube, who was also a quarterback in high school, intercepted two passes and blocked a kick. He also made four tackles for loss.

Matt Morgan will get another year to excel on WNEC’s defensive line. The junior notched 18 total tackles, had a hand in one quarterback sack and recovered a fumble.

Appetite for seconds

Plymouth State University is ranked No. 8 in the current New England Division III wrestling poll, but those high expectations haven’t stopped first-year grapplers from making an immediate impact.

One such standout freshman is Dave Smith of Mexico. The Mountain Valley product is already 5-3 overall. In a Saturday homecoming of sorts, Smith finished second in the 285-pound division at the University of Southern Maine’s Ted Reese Invitational, dropping the final to teammate Shawn Wilbert by injury forfeit. Plymouth State won the team competition, with Southern Maine second.

Class act

Elizabeth Ellis of Turner (Leavitt Area High School) has achieved first team all-academic recognition from the Northeast-10 Conference for the second year in a row.

Ellis is a co-captain of the Franklin Pierce College field hockey team. A three-year starter at midfield, Ellis delivered her first career goal and three assists this fall. She has started 49 of 54 games in her three seasons with the program in Rindge, N.H.

In the classroom, Ellis is a marketing major with a 3.88 grade point average.

Her academic awards extend far beyond the conference. Ellis is a two-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division II All-Academic performer. She also earned the status of Commissioner’s Honor Roll Gold Scholar in 2004 for achieving a 4.0 GPA.

Goal getter

Kyle Smith of Auburn scored his first goal of the season Tuesday night in Southern Maine’s 5-3 hockey victory over Colby College. It was the Huskies’ third straight win after a 1-3 start.

Smith, a sophomore forward who celebrated two Class A state championships at Edward Little High School and later excelled for the Junior Pirates, is tied for fourth on the team with five points. His goal was an unassisted short-handed tally.

Hoop notes

Bates College will try to match a school record by going 8-0 for the second time in three men’s basketball seasons when the Bobcats host the University of Maine at Farmington at 7 p.m. tonight. UMF is 2-2 and features local players Sean Fry of Jay, Ted Neil of Strong, Matt St. John of Wayne and Tom Labrie of Lewiston.

Southern Maine freshman Nicole Paradis of Skowhegan has been named Little East Conference women’s basketball Rookie of the Week for the second straight time. Paradis and the Huskies are ranked No. 6 in Division III by the web site D3Hoops.com. Bowdoin College, which defeated USM 60-45 last week, was chosen No. 1 in the same poll.


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