BOSTON, Mass.—Juniors Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) and Nolan Redler (Winchester, Mass.) both made history on Saturday night, to lead #1 UMass Boston men's hockey past #8 University of Southern Maine in the New England Hockey Conference Quarterfinals.
#1 UMass Boston 4, #8 University of Southern Maine 0
(UMass Boston 19-6-1)
(Southern Maine 5-17-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
UMass Boston scored one goal in each of the first two periods and two in the final three minutes, to advance to the New England Hockey Conference Semifinals for the third time in four seasons.
With the win, the top-seeded Beacons will host defending NEHC Tournament Champions #4 Hobart College next Saturday at 7 p.m.
MacBurnie made 22 saves to record his program-record setting sixth-career shutout. The junior netminder made eight stops in the third period to tie the single-season UMass Boston mark with four shutouts in a single-season.
Redler became the 17thplayer in program history to reach 100 career points, when he scored the Beacons' second goal at 13:53 of the second period.
Sophomore Zack Bross (St. Louis, Mo.) paced the Beacons with two assists and he also drew two penalties in the victory.
Southern Maine netminder Paul Léger made 43 saves on 46 shots in his first career start against the Beacons. The junior posted at least 13 saves in all three periods, including 16 in the second.
UMass Boston broke the scoreless tie at 6:44 of the first period. Bross won the face-off back to John Bonno (Kennesaw, Ga.) at the point and Bonno sent a shot that tipped off a defenseman and forced a kick save from Léger. The rebound fell right to Nitkin, who waited for Léger to make a move and then snuck the puck inside the near post for his 10th goal of the season.
The Beacons drew three penalties in the period, but they committed penalties during each of the first two and couldn't get anything going on their third opportunity.
Southern Maine came out firing to start the second period and nearly tied the game on an Adam Withers shot. Cody Braga brought the puck into the zone and left a drop pass for Withers-who pinged a shot off the near post.
The Beacons doubled their lead at 13:53 of the period. Bross and Garrett Gallagher (Aston, Pa.) kept the play alive on an attempted clearance in front of the net and then Gallagher sent a back-hand feed to a wide-open Redler for a one-timer goal.
Southern Maine had a great chance to get back into the game late in the second, when the Beacons were whistled for a pair of penalties at 17:19. The Huskies moved the puck well on the 5-on-3 but were unable to sneak one past MacBurnie and the Beacons.
UMass Boston put the clamps on the Huskies in the third period, as the majority of the Southern Maine chances came from distance with no traffic in front.
With the goalie pulled and under three minutes to play, Sanipass pounced on a loose puck in his defensive zone and sent a shot down the length of the ice. The shot missed just wide, but Sanipass won a foot-race with two Huskies and tapped the puck in for a 3-0 lead at 17:22.
The Beacons closed out the scoring with 5.9 seconds left. MacBurnie tipped the puck to Jack Riley (Wrentham, Mass.) to start a 2-on-1 and Riley found MacGregor wide-open in front, with the senior lifted a shot over Léger's right-shoulder for a 4-0 advantage.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot the Huskies 47-22. The Beacons doubled up Southern Maine in shots in all three periods and recorded at least 14 shots in each stanza.
- The Beacons also earned a 49-33 edge in face-offs.
- Both teams finished 0-3 on the man-advantage.
- With the win, UMass Boston improves to 20-19-1 all-time against the Huskies and 2-1 in postseason meetings.
- MacBurnie broke a tie with Billy Faust ('16) for most career shutouts and tied Faust's 2016 mark for most shutouts in a single year with four.
- The Beacons improved to 12-1 this season at home, with all 12 wins coming by multiple goals.
- MacGregor and Gallagher became the 12thand 13thplayers in program history to play in their 100thcareer games. Gabe Chuckran (Media, Pa.) moved into a tie for second all-time, alongside former teammates Frankie DeAugustine ('16) and Tyler Bishop ('17), with 107 career games played. The Class of 2019 is the first class in program history to have three players appear in 100 or more career contests.
- Bross has recorded six assists in his last two games. He finished 16-21 in the face-off dot against Southern Maine.
#1 UMass Boston will host #4 Hobart College on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in the NEHC Semis. The Statesmen have won their conference tournament in each of the past four years, including defeating #1 Norwich in last year's NEHC Finals.