(Courtesy of UMass Boston Sports Information)
UMass Boston Pulls Away in 3rd, Downs USM 7-2
BOSTON -- The University of Massachusetts Boston men's hockey erupted for four goals in the final stanza to cruise to a 7-2 win over the University of Southern Maine on Senior Day at the Edward T. Barry Ice Rink. The game was the regular season finale for both teams.
With the win, the Beacons finished the regular season 16-9-0 overall and 11-7-0 in New England Hockey Conference play. UMB will be the fourth seed in the upcoming NEHC playoffs and hosting fifth seeded New England College next Saturday. The Huskies dropped their ninth straight game, and finished 3-18-4 overall and 3-12-3 in the league. USM will be the seventh seed in the playoffs and head to second-seeded Hobart College next weekend.
After a tense first 40 minutes, UMass Boston scored two goals in the opening 3:13 of the third, and senior Colin Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) struck for two late goals.
Larkin set the program record for games played Saturday by dressing in his 109th game as a Beacon. He made it a memorable one, with two goals and one assist. Nolan Redler (Winchester, Mass.) netted two goals for the second straight day and tied Larkin with a team-best three points.
Juniors John Regnart (Anchorage, Alaska) and Garrett Gallagher (Aston, Pa.) and sophomore Cody Wickline (Flower Mound, Texas) accounted for the other three Beacons' goals on the afternoon.
Sophomore goalie Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) made 22 saves on 24 shots to earn his second straight win and 15th of the season.
Southern Maine freshman goalie Anthony D'Aloisio (Frisco, Texas) was charged with allowing seven goals and made 37 saves on 44 shots in the loss.
Senior Alex Panatalone (Hudson, Mass.) and sophomore Brendan Murphy (St. Peters, Mo.) each scored for the visitors.
UMass Boston came out on fire to open the first period and struck for two goals in a 19-second span to open the scoring. Zack Bross (St. Louis, Mo.) found Gallagher at the blue line and Gallagher roofed a shot just under the bar to make it 1-0 at 8:34.
The Beacons doubled their lead at 8:53 on a perfectly-executed 2-on-1. Tyler Sifferlen's (North Andover, Mass.) shot was kicked aside, but the rebound fell directly in Wickline's path for a 2-0 lead.
Southern Maine took away some of the Beacons' momentum with 2:19 left in the period. With the Beacons already failing to score on a 5-on-3, senior Brett Norman (Dawson Creek, B.C.) forced a turnover in the Beacons' defensive zone and left a pass for a wide-open Murphy for a short-handed tally.
The Beacons pushed their lead back to two at 3:56 of the second. Larkin and Redler traded passes on the power play, before Larkin sent a pass down low for a Redler one-timer to make it a 3-1 game.
Southern Maine cut the deficit back to 3-2 with a power-play goal of their own. The Huskies moved the puck around the edges, before rookie Jonathan Bartuccio-Pereira (St. Bruno, Quebec) blasted a slap shot from the top of the circle. MacBurnie made the initial save, but Pantalone tipped home the rebound to make it 3-2 at 10:03.
Neither side could find a way to score before the second intermission, setting up a potential thrilling finish.
Redler took away some of the drama with a goal just 39 seconds into the third. Gabe Chuckran (Media, Pa.) skated into the zone and sent a beautiful backhand feed in front to Redler, who skated past D'Aloisio and deposited the puck into an empty net for a 4-2 lead.
UMass Boston stretched their lead to three with a goal at 3:13. Bryan Carter (Hudson, Mass.) found Regnart all alone at the top of the slot and Regnart knifed a shot past the Southern Maine goalie for a 5-2 advantage.
The Beacons put the game away for a good with a power-play goal at 10:08. Nick Albano's (Beverly, Mass.) shot from the point got slowed down on the way towards goal and Larkin redirected it past D'Aloisio for a 6-2 lead.
Larkin capped off his final regular-season game with a tally at 18:10. Gallagher found a wide-open Evan Heldt (Sylvania, Ohio) at the far point and Heldt blasted a shot towards net. D'Aloisio managed to stop the initial shot, but the rebound fell to a wide-open Larkin who shoveled it in for the final goal.