Jan. 22, 2011

Box Score

BOSTON, MA - Senior forward Eric Tufman (Abington, PA) tallied two goals with an assist and sophomore winger Mike DeGrazia (Novi, MI) netted a pair of goals to pace the University of Massachusetts Boston men's ice hockey's offensive attack in a 6-3 victory over the University of New England this afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. With the victory, the Beacons improve to 13-4 overall which matches the program's best start to begin a season since the 1987-88 campaign and lifts their record in the ECAC East to 8-3-0. Meanwhile, the loss drops the Nor'easters to 2-13-0 and 0-11-0 in the conference.

DeGrazia and junior forward Anthony Fitti (Havertown, PA) each potted a score in the opening period to give the home team a 2-0 lead going into the first intermission. UMass Boston went on the power play 3:37 into the game and took advantage just 17 seconds later when DeGrazia flicked a wrist shot top corner through a solid screen by freshman forward Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, NJ) who was parked directly in front of the UNE goalkeeper. Sophomore defenseman Chris Wilcox (Hollywood, FL) and Tufman were credited with the assists. At 8:22 of the frame, Fitti tallied his fifth of the season thanks in large part to senior forward Vinnie Jacona (East Stroudsburg, PA) who settled a beautiful pass on the blade of Fitti's stick on the doorstep of the net. Junior winger Bryan Albert (Redlands, CA) started the odd-man rush that led to the marker. The Beacons defense stepped up in a big way as well as they were able to kill off a Nor'easters' 5-on-3 advantage for 60 seconds which came on the tail end of a five minute major penalty late in the period.

UMass Boston wasted little time to tack onto the lead with a third goal 52 seconds into the second period. Freshman blueliner Cameron Harvey (Bow, NH) hit DeGrazia with a long pass from his own zone and then DeGrazia did the rest as he beat a defender down the right wing and then wristed a hard shot around another defenseman into the back of the net. Sophomore forward Adam Laite (Sydney, Nova Scotia) put UNE on the board at 4:16 when he knocked in a rebound after shots by senior blueliner Jack Nolin (Somersworth, NH) and sophomore forward Paul Kashmanian (Grand Island, NY). Tufman answered 24 seconds later with the eventual game-winner to restore the Beacons' three goal lead, 4-1. Senior winger David Lun (Grand Rapids, MI) and Daniel picked up the assists on the quick strike. The Nor'easters refused to go quietly, however, and netted back-to-back scores just 50 seconds apart. Freshman forward Sean Sullivan (Worcester, MA) punched back a rebound after a shot by sophomore winger Scott McManaman (Amherst, Nova Scotia) at 8:35. Nolin followed up with his fifth of the year to close the gap to 4-3. Sophomore defenseman Russ Franey (York, MA) and sophomore forward Brent Bourgeois (New Haven, VT) started the rush that led to the score. Again Tufman came up with a big tally, though, to swing momentum back in favor of the Beacons and give them a cushion going into the second intermission. Wilcox fired a slap shot off the crossbar that ricocheted straight down into the crease and then Tufman cleaned it up at 16:49 for his eighth of the season with Lun getting the secondary assist on the play.

UMass Boston tacked on a goal on the power play at 15:09 of the third period. Fitti made the play happen with nifty stick handling through the zone and then he dropped it back to senior defenseman Brett Calhoun (Tulsa, OK) who ripped the wrist shot for the tally. Sophomore forward Michael Crowder (Flint, MI) was also credited with an assist on the final goal.

In net, senior goalie Thomas Speer (Wausau, WI) made 33 stops to improve to 6-3-0 for the Beacons, while Nor'easters senior goaltender Mike Roper (New Glasgow, Nova Scotia) started and made 10 saves before being replaced midway through the second period in favor of freshman goalie Connor Brogan (Hershey, PA) who made 21 saves.

With the six-goal outburst, UMass Boston has now scored six or more goals in seven games this season and is currently ranked third in the nation with a 4.53 goals per game average.

Both teams return to action Friday, January 28 at 7:00 p.m. as the Beacons travel to Northfield, VT to battle Norwich University and the Nor'easters host Amherst College.