ECAC East Quarterfinal Preview: No. 2 Men's Ice Hockey vs. No. 7 University of Southern Maine

No. 2 Men's Ice Hockey vs. No. 7 University of Southern Maine
ECAC East Tournament Quarterfinals
Saturday, February 22—7:00pm
Babson Skating Center—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and Southern Maine will meet for the 28th time on Saturday night in a series that dates back to 1995. The Beavers hold an 18-8-1 edge all-time and have won four straight over the Huskies going back to last season.

Saturday's quarterfinal will be just the third meeting between the two teams in the postseason. Babson lost to Southern Maine, 2-1, in a 2012 ECAC East Tournament quarterfinal, and beat the Huskies 5-3 in the 2005 conference semifinals.

Senior Nik Tasiopoulos broke a scoreless deadlock at 11:23 of the second period and sophomore goalie Jamie Murray set a new single-season program record with his fourth shutout as Babson defeated Southern Maine, 3-0, on February 8. Senior Tom Callahan and junior Andrew Bonazza also scored for the Beavers, who outshot the Huskies, 40-27.

Dan Rautenberg netted a pair of goals in the second period, and Braely Torris made 28 saves, lifting the sixth-seeded Huskies to a 2-1 win over third-seeded Babson in an ECAC East quarterfinal on February 25, 2012, in Babson Park. Driscoll scored the lone goal for the Green and White, which held a 15-1 first-period edge in shots on goal.

Seventh-seeded University of Southern Maine (6-14-5, 5-11-2 ECAC East) halted its three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over New England College last Saturday. Sophomore Alex Pompeo scored on the power play 12:29 into the third period and first-year Dylan Wells made 25 saves for the Huskies. Junior Ryan Seward (3-16-19) is tied for eighth in the league in assists, while first-year Kelby Lorenz (10-8-18) leads the team in goals. Pompeo (5-12-17), a first-team all-conference selection, is third on the team in scoring, and first-year Todd Bannerman (7-7-14) has one game-winning goal and is tied for the team lead with three power play scores. Wells and sophomore Josh Hillegas have combined to post a 3.42 goals against average and a .886 save percentage this winter. Southern Maine has advanced to the ECAC East semifinals just twice since 2007.

Second-seeded Babson (19-4-2, 13-3-2 ECAC East), which is ranked eighth in both the and polls, claimed a share of the ECAC East regular season title with last Saturday's 1-1 overtime tie at Saint Michael's. Bonazza scored 10:21 into the second period and Murray stopped 17 shots for the Beavers, who held a 42-18 edge in shots on goal. Junior Mike Driscoll (11-12-23) is tied for 10th in the league in scoring and has combined with first-year Michael Phillips (6-15-21) and senior Nik Tasiopoulos (10-9-19) for 13 power play goals and seven game-winning tallies. Sophomore Max Franklin (3-12-15) is third on the team in assists, while Bonazza (9-4-13) and senior Troy Starrett (5-8-13) have six game-winning goals between them. Murray leads the nation in victories (18) and save percentage (.948), and is ranked fourth nationally with a 1.49 goals against average in 24 starts. Babson has advanced to the conference tournament semifinals in nine of the last 11 seasons.

The Beavers are 13-0-1 when scoring three goals or more on the season.

View: Mobile | Desktop