Jan. 21, 2011
BOSTON, MA - Junior forward Chris Wyman (Bartlett, IL) blasted a wrist shot from the top of the crease with 2:43 remaining in overtime to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston men's ice hockey team to victory over the University of Southern Maine, 5-4, this evening at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. Senior forward Vinnie Jacona (East Stroudsburg, PA) added a pair of goals and junior winger Bryan Albert (Redlands, CA) chipped in with a goal and two assists to help pace the Beacons who improve to 12-4-0 overall and 7-3 in the ECAC East to match the 1987-88 team for the best start in program history. Meanwhile, with the loss the Huskies fall to 4-9-2 and 2-8 in conference play and snap a nine-game winning streak over the Beacons.
UMass Boston jumped out into the lead just 1:52 into the game when Jacona netted his seventh of the season. Albert took a shot from the faceoff circle and Jacona was there to knock home the rebound for the 1-0 advantage.
Southern Maine tied the game at 1-1 just 2:03 into the second frame. Sophomore forward Craig Perham (Arundel, ME) took the puck around the back of the net and then found sophomore defenseman John Grandinetti (Ottawa, ON) alone at the top of the crease. Sophomore forward Sean Travis (Scituate, MA) also was credited with an assist. Just 45 seconds later, the Beacons came right back to recapture the 2-1 lead on a score by sophomore winger Michel Crowder (Flint, MI) that was assisted by Wyman and junior defenseman John Hubbard (Arlington, TX). UMass Boston added to the lead 1:07 later when Jacona tallied his second of the game on a tip-in off a shot by Albert directly after the faceoff won by junior forward Anthony Fitti (Havertown, PA). The Beacons dominated faceoffs for a long stretch, winning 14 straight including the first 10 of the second period. The Huskies began to chip into the 3-1 deficit with a tally at the 9:43 mark when freshman forward Angelo Vrachnas (St. James, NY) started a 2-on-1 break and his shot was saved, but freshman winger Mike Greene (Arvada, CA) was trailing the play and followed up to tap it home. A little over a minute later at 10:58, Southern Maine knotted the contest at 3-3 when senior forward Zach Joy (Dover, NH) potted his sixth of the season when he cleaned up scoring attempts by Travis and sophomore winger Matt MacDonald (Byfield, MA). UMass Boston, however, struck for a big score with just four seconds left in the frame to take a 4-3 lead to the locker room at the second intermission. Albert took a pass from Fitti in the slot and buried it for his sixth of the year. Sophomore blueliner Steven Weston (Henniker, NH) also picked up an assist on the strike.
Southern Maine countered to start the third and tied the game, 4-4, on a power play marker at 3:16. Junior forward Dan Rautenberg (Cape Elizabeth, ME) and senior blueliner Paul Conter (Woodbridge, ON) pushed the puck ahead to senior winger Jon Rutt (Scarborough, ME) who stuffed it into the net. The Huskies had an opportunity to grab the lead with just over a minute to play in regulation but Beacons junior goaltender Kevin Bendel (Denville, NJ) made a critical stop on a breakaway by Vrachnas to set up Wyman's overtime heroics.
Bendel made 37 saves to better his record to 7-1-0 between the pipes, and Southern Maine junior goalie Mason St. Hilaire (Saco, ME) made 37 stops in the losing effort to drop to 0-2-0
Both teams return to action tomorrow afternoon at 4:00 p.m. as the Beacons host the University of New England, while the Huskies travel to Wellesley, MA to take on Babson College.