BOSTON, Mass.--#13/14 UMass Boston men's hockey (14-4-3, 7-4-3 ECAC East) scored three goals in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 5-1 victory over Castleton State College (10-10-2, 6-7-2 ECAC East) Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center Ice Arena.
Stephen Buco (North Providence, R.I.), Kit Sitterley (Mooresville, N.C.) and Frankie DeAugustine (Pittsburgh, Pa.) each recorded a goal and an assist to help the Beacons snap a four-game winless streak and earn two pivotal points in the ECAC East standings.
With the two teams separated by a point coming into the game in the battle for home-ice in the ECAC East Tournament, UMass Boston raced out to a 3-0 lead over the first 7:49 behind goals from Mike Kuhn (Holbrook, Mass.), Buco and Sitterley. That would be more than enough to help UMass Boston earn their first season-series win against the Spartans since the 2004-05 season.
Giovanni Marinelli (Randolph, N.J.) added his first collegiate goal and DeAugustine potted a nifty tally in the third to help UMass Boston snap a four-game streak in which they'd been held to two goals or fewer.
Sophomore netminder Zach Andrews (Coral Springs, Fla.) was nearly perfect, stopping 29 of the 30 shots he faced to move to 11-2-2.
Ross Herzog scored the lone tally of the afternoon for the Spartans, while Thomas Shelley (20 saves) and and Mark Hochman (10 saves) combined for 30 saves on 35 total shots.
Kuhn got the Beacons off to a hot start just 90 seconds in when he received a pass from Buco out in front and roofed a shot over Shelley's glove while slipping to the ice.
The Beacons pushed the lead to 2-0 just under five minutes later, when Buco took a pass from Bishop and sent a shot through traffic for his first goal as a Beacon. The UMass Lowell transfer now has a goal and three assists in four games with UMass Boston.
UMass Boston forced Castleton State to call a timeout just 7:49 into the contest, when DeAugustine slipped a pass from behind the net to Sitterley who banged it home for a 3-0 advantage. Captain Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, N.J.) picked up an assist on the play, to move into sole possession of eight place all-time in Beacons' history with 117 points.
Castleton State cut the deficit to 3-1, six seconds into their first power-play effort of the day, off of a rocket from Herzog. The senior captain sent a shot through traffic that Andrews never saw to make it 3-1 at the 11:07 mark.
The play would slow down from there, with both teams picking up the physicality the rest of the way.
Shelley managed to keep the game close behind two spectacular saves, one each in the first and second.
On the first save, Nathan Milam (Westland, Mich.) skated in all by himself and made a bevy of moves to beat Shelley, only to have the goaltender throw out his glove as a last-ditch effort and barely keep the puck from going over the line. In the second period, Shelley once again found himself out of position, only to make a terrific stick save on a shot from Connor McStravick (Philadelphia, Pa.) that looked destined for the back of the cage.
Marinelli managed to beat Shelley at 13:11 of the second period, off of a face-off win. Derek Colucci (North Scituate, R.I.) won the defensive zone face-off to Marinelli who sent a shot onto Shelley from the blue line. While Shelley made the initial save, he stood up to control the puck and Marinelli rushed in to beat him to it, before burying a shot for his first collegiate point in his fourth career game.
UMass Boston capped off the scoring 38 seconds into the third on DeAugustine's ninth tally of the year. Sitterley fed the puck to DeAugustine in the slot who roofed it by Hochman for a 5-1 advantage.
The Beacons finished with a 35-30 advantage in shots and held Castleton State College to a 1-for-6 effort on the power-play, while finishing 1-for-1 on the man-advantage themselves.
UMass Boston will be back in action Friday night at 7 p.m. when they host the University of Southern Maine.