January 26, 2013

#13/14 Men's Hockey Skates To 2-2 Draw with #12/14 Babson College

BOSTON, Mass.—In an exciting back-and-forth contest between two of the top teams in the nation, a pair of unsung goalies were the story, as #13/14 UMass Boston (14-3-2, 7-3-2 ECAC East) and #12/14 Babson College (10-5-4, 6-4-2) skated to a 2-2 draw at the Clark Athletic Center Ice Arena Saturday afternoon. 

UMass Boston freshman Zach Andrews (Coral Springs, Fla.) and senior backup goaltender Zeke Testa went blow for blow Saturday afternoon, with each goalie one-upping each other in the final 25 minutes.

A day after the two teams poured in 12 goals, Zach Andrew made 26 saves on 28 shots and Testa added 27 saves on 29 shots, in just his sixth start of the season.

All season long Andrews has worked to keep the Beacons high-octane offense in position to win by allowing "one less goal than the guys on the other side," while Testa has taken a back seat for the Beavers, behind freshman Jamie Murray who started Friday night's game.

Senior Mike DeGrazia (Novi, Mich.) and freshman Derek Colucci (North Scituate, R.I.) scored for the Beacons.; while Shayne Anderson and Matt O'Neill found the back of the net for Babson.

The Beacons jumped out to a 1-0 lead 65 seconds into the contest, when DeGrazia collected a rebound off of a Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, N.J.) shot and sent a backhand shot from the right circle just over Testa's outstretched glove.

Colucci scored his second goal of the weekend at 6:44, when Tim Richter's (Naugatuck, Conn.) pass found the freshman right in front of the net and Colucci slammed a one-timer over Testa's shoulder.

Babson collected themselves and cut the deficit to 2-1 late in the first period, when Anderson scored his third career goal, on a shot from the point that found its way through traffic and into the net. Two of Anderson's three goals have come against the Beacons, as he scored the game-winning goal last January in a 4-3 Babson overtime win.

The two teams skated through a sluggish second period, in which both teams squandered some Grade A chances.

With tensions brewing over from Friday night, the two teams came out firing in the third period. After accumulating just 27 total shots in the first two periods, the squads combined for 25 alone in the third, as Babson outshot UMass Boston 15-11.

Andrews made back-to-back huge saves during a Babson power-play midway through the period, including a huge glove save on a point-blank shot from Babson captain Ryan Smith. 

The Beavers finally broke through with less than three minutes to go off of a faceoff in the Beacons end. Senior PT Donato won the faceoff back to Matt O'Neill who split two Beacons defenders and managed to send a high-shot just over Andrews glove while falling to the ice. 

A Babson penalty at 19:38 put the Beacons in position to win it, but Testa turned away the lone UMB shot of the power-play.

The senior made an even bigger stop with 2:56 to go in the extra session when he robbed Kit Sitterley (Mooresville, N.C.). Sitterley sent a rocket through traffic that Testa somehow managed to reach out and stab with his glove, despite two Beacons camped out in front, waiting for a rebound. 

UMass Boston registered three more shots in the extra session for a 5-0 advantage, but they couldn't find a way to solve Testa.

Neither team had any success with the man advantage, as Babson finished 0-for-3, while UMass Boston went 0-for-1.

The Beacons will return to action Friday night at 7 p.m., when they pay a visit to the Saratoga City Rink for the first time since their ECAC East Quarterfinal loss at the hands of Skidmore College.