Men's Ice Hockey

1984 NCAA National Champions | 16 NCAA Tournaments | 6 Conference Championships

NEHC Tournament Quarterfinal Preview: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Skidmore

NEHC Tournament Quarterfinal Preview: Men's Ice Hockey vs. Skidmore

NEHC Tournament Quarterfinal
No. 3 Men's Ice Hockey vs. No. 6 Skidmore
Saturday, February 17—7 p.m.
Babson Skating Center—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and Skidmore will meet for the fourth time this season and 38th time overall on Saturday night in a series that dates back to 1999. The Beavers are 30-6-1 all-time against the Thoroughbreds and have won 13 straight in the series.

Babson and Skidmore will meet for the second time in three years and ninth time overall in the conference playoffs. The Beavers have won all eight of the previous matchups, which includes a 5-2 victory in the 2016 NEHC quarterfinals.

Senior Matt McMorrow scored just 12 seconds into overtime as Babson defeated Skidmore, 3-2, on February 3 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Classmate Bobby Hall and first-year Nick Rosa both finished with a goal and an assist for the Beavers. Senior Connor Pelkey and sophomore Owen Campbell both scored for the Thoroughbreds.

Dave Dupuis scored on a power play 3:45 into the second period and Brad Schuler added his ninth goal of the season just over seven minutes later as the Thoroughbreds shut out Babson, 3-0, on February 2, 2013, in Saratoga Springs. Ben Freiberg made 21 saves for Skidmore, while Zeke Testa '13 stopped 17 shots for the Beavers.

Sixth-seeded Skidmore (6-17-2) is coming off a 2-2 OT tie in its regular season finale at No. 11/12 Norwich last Saturday. Sophomore Chris Javens scored late in the first period and first-year Matt Muzyka notched a shorthanded goal midway through the third for the Thoroughbreds, who got 45 saves from rookie netminder Brian Kowalski. First-year Brandon Borges (7-10-17) is tied for the team lead with two game-winning goals, Muzyka (5-8-13) has scored twice on the power play, and first-year Paul Vella (1-10-11) is tied for first on the squad in assists. Skidmore closed out the regular season by going 4-1-2 in its last seven games.

Third-seeded Babson (14-8-3) enters the playoffs riding a five-game unbeaten streak following its 4-2 win over New England College last Saturday. McMorrow had a pair of goals and junior Matt Brazel added a goal and an assist for the Beavers, who got 25 saves from junior goaltender Bryan Botcher. McMorrow (8-15-23) is tied for fifth in the league in assists and sixth in points, senior Ryan Gouveia (12-9-21) is fifth in the NEHC in goals, and Hall (11-10-21) has produced 10 points over the last seven games. Botcher and fellow junior Matt Pompa have combined to post a 2.16 goals against average and a .927 save percentage with three shutouts this winter.

The Beavers had a league-high six players recognized when the conference announced the first of its postseason honors on Thursday afternoon. Gouveia, McMorrow, Pompa and senior Joe DePietto were all named to the All-NEHC second team, Hall earned a third-team selection, and Rosa garnered an all-rookie team nod.

Brazel has one goal and seven assists for eight points in five career playoff games, while senior Rob Devaney has recorded four goals and four assists in eight tournament contests going back to 2015. Additionally, Gouveia has scored four times, which includes one game-winning goal in seven postseason games.

McMorrow (2-3-5), Gouveia (4-0-4), Devaney (2-1-3), DePietto (0-3-3) and Ackerman (0-3-3) have combined for eight goals and 10 assists in three regular season matchups against Skidmore.

The Beavers have won seven consecutive home playoff games while outscoring their foes 38-9.