Beavers Earn Third Seed in Upcoming NEHC Tournament, Will Host Skidmore in a Quarterfinal Next Saturday
BOSTON—No. 7 USCHO.com/No. 8 D3hockey.com UMass Boston turned a one-goal deficit into a three-goal lead by scoring four times during a five-minute power play early in the second period on the way to defeating visiting Babson College, 8-4, in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) men's ice hockey action on Saturday afternoon inside Edward T. Barry Rink.
Babson, which needed a win to clinch a share of the league's regular season title closes the regular season at 16-6-3 overall and 11-4-3 in conference play. The Beavers will be the third seed when the NEHC Tournament pairings are officially announced on Sunday. UMass Boston (18-6-1, 14-3-1) captured its third regular season crown in program history and will the top seed in the conference tournament.
Sophomore Nick Rosa (Birmingham, Mich.) and first-year Matt Wiesner (Newport Beach, Calif.) both had a goal and an assist, while sophomore Patrick Flynn (Framingham, Mass.) and first-year Ryan Black (Pomfret, Conn.) each scored once for the Beavers. Senior Tommy Munichiello (Weymouth, Mass.), junior Connor Dahlman (Stamford, Conn.) and first-years Cole Sanderson (Basking Ridge, N.J.) and John Corrigan (Stoneham, Mass.) all registered an assist.
Senior netminder Matt Pompa (Palm City, Fla.) made a season-high 40 saves in defeat for Babson.
Junior Nolan Redler (Winchester, Mass.) scored four times and picked up two assists for six points, while sophomore Nick Albano (Beverly, Mass.) added two goals and three assists for the Beacons. Classmate Zack Bross (St. Louis, Mo.) and senior Gabe Chuckran (Media, Pa.) combined for six assists, and junior goaltender Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) made 26 saves to earn his 17th win of the year.
Junior Dakota Keene (Poland, Maine) scored 2:52 into the contest to stake UMass Boston to a 1-0 lead but the Green and White answered back at 7:22 when Black put away the rebound of a shot by Rosa 13 seconds into the power play to make it 1-1. The Beacons went back in front 69 seconds later on a power play goal by Redler, but Wiesner scored from the slot at 14:52 and Flynn scored on the power play just 57 seconds into the second period to give the Beavers a 3-2 advantage.
Babson was whistled for a five-minute tripping major at 4:19 of the second and UMass Boston took advantage by scoring four times in the span of 3:11 to seize control of the game. Albano scored from the left point to tie the contest at 5:34, Redler gave the hosts the lead at the 7:10 mark, and Albano ripped a slap shot from the top of the right face-off circle past Pompa to make it 5-3 18 seconds later. Redler put away a feed from Albano in the slot at 8:45 to cap the flurry pushing the margin to 6-3.
The Beavers were unable to score on a two-minute 5-on-3 power play late in the second period, but Rosa scored with a one-timer from the slot late on a five-minute power play to pull within 6-4 just 1:39 into the third. Ethan Nitkin (Miami Beach, Fla.) made it a three-goal game again with just under eight minutes to go and Redler tacked on another insurance tally at 15:01 for the final margin.
The Beacons, who held a 48-30 edge in shots, scored five times on four power play opportunities, while the Green and White finished 3-for-6 on the power play.
Although the official announcement will not be made until Sunday, Babson will host Skidmore in an NEHC Tournament quarterfinal next Saturday at 7 p.m., while UMass Boston will take on Southern Maine in the opening round.
• The Beavers are now 46-19-6 all-time against UMass Boston and the teams have split their regular season meetings in each of the last five seasons.
• Babson matched its season high with three power play goals, and scored four times on the man-advantage in two games over the weekend against the Beacons, who have the nation's top-ranked penalty kill.
• Prior to Saturday, the Green and White had held its opponents to just nine power play goals in 86 chances this winter.
• Munichiello, who had an assist in both games over the weekend, has four goals and four assists in eight career games against UMass Boston.