March 2, 2011

Bryant Duo Earns NEC Honors

from press release

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – After leading their team to a perfect 2-0 start on the 2011 season, Bryant University junior Jameson Love (Darien, Conn.) and freshman Matt Bletzer (Medfield, Mass.) were recognized for the parts they played, earning Northeast Conference Co-Defensive Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively.

With his impressive play between the pipes, Love finished with a remarkable 21 saves while facing 50 shots and allowing only eight goals in a pair of Bulldog wins. On the young season, Love is already proving he can pick up right where he left off a season ago, and his stellar .724 save percentage and 4.06 goals against average rank third and fourth in the nation, respectively.

In the 2011 season opener on the road against St. Joseph's Feb. 19, Love stood strong, making nine saves and allowing just a trio of goals as Bryant took a 14-3 victory. The Bulldogs then opened up at home last Saturday afternoon, taking a hard-fought 6-5 victory over a Fairfield team receiving votes in the national polls. Love played a key role in the win, making 12 stops, including two in the final 25 seconds to help his squad cling to a one-goal lead for the victory. The junior's six ground balls led the contest and tied his career high. Love totaled 10 ground balls to pace the Bulldogs on the two-week stretch.

After just his first two collegiate games, Bletzer has shown he'll need no more time to adjust to the college game, contributing in a big way in his first two outings as a Bulldog. While starting both games, Bletzer totaled five points with a trio of goals to collect his first-career rookie of the week honors and the first such accolades of the 2011 season.

The rookie netted his first collegiate goal in the 2011 season opener on the road at St. Joe's, scoring Bryant's first man-up tally of the season to give the Bulldogs a 5-1 edge. It was in Saturday's game, though, that Bryant really felt Bletzer's offensive influence, as frosh scored a pair of tallies while assisting on another two for a game-high four points in the win. The freshman scored the first goal of the game at the 10:45 mark of the second frame and scored again to close out the third quarter to give the Bulldogs back the lead for good, 4-3. He also assisted on the first goal of the third to knot the score at 3-3 and again on teammate Gary Crowley's goal with 5:01 to play.

The awards marked the first Northeast Conference weekly honors of the 2011 season. The Bulldogs will be back in action on Saturday, March 5, as they face the University of Vermont on the road.

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