Feb. 5, 2011
BOSTON, MA - Freshman forward Mark Grinhaus (Scarsdale, NY) notched the game-winning goal and an assist to lift the University of Massachusetts Boston men's ice hockey team over New England College, 5-2, this afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. With the decision, the Beacons snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 14-7-0 overall, 9-6-0 in the ECAC East for the program's best start since the 1991-92 season while the Pilgrims fall to 7-12-2 and 5-9-1 in conference play. The 14 total wins for UMB is also the most in a season since the 1991-92 campaign and with the win, UMass Boston head coach Peter Belisle notched his 50th career victory.
After two even periods of play, Grinhaus collected the game-winner 4:07 into the final period for his second goal on the year. The forward led a 2-on-1 fast break opportunity, keeping the puck and beating NEC senior netminder Aaron Harvey (Milford, Nova Scotia) with a nifty move right in front of the net. Grinhaus was assited by sophomore defensemen Steven Weston (Henniker, NH) and sophomore forward Michael Crowder (Flint, MI) to make it a 3-2 contest with 15:53 to play. The Beacons would add an insurance goal to make it 4-2 with 9:06 remaining in regulation when sophomore blueliner Rob Florentino (West Roxbury, MA) recorded his sixth goal of the year only four seconds after the Pilgrims were whistled for a high sticking call. Florentino ripped home a slapshot from just inside the blueline for UMB's first successful power play conversion of the afternoon. Previously, the Beacons had been 0-for-6 on the man-up advantage. Senior forward Matt Atsoff (Macomb, MI) would tack on another goal with 20 seconds remaining on another UMB power play goal, his team-leading 12th of the season, with a slap shot from the Pilgrims right defensive circle. Florentino was credited with an assist on the final goal while senior forward Eric Tufman (Abington, PA) assisted on the final two goals to record his team-leading 21st assist of the year. UMass Boston finished the game going 2-for-9 on the power play.
The Pilgrims got on the board first to take a 1-0 lead at the 9:03 mark of the first when senior forward Jared Mullen (Roanoke, VA) buried a slapshot right in front of the net after being set up by sophomore forward Ben Souders (Downington, PA) and junior forward Johan Qvarfordt (Sodertalje, Sweden). UMass Boston wasted little time to even the score at 1-1 when Crowder notched his second goal of the campaign at 10:48 into the first period with the help of an assist from Grinhaus. The Beacons had another great scoring opportunity when they gained a 5-on-3 power play advantage with 4:55 remaining in the period but New England College was able to kill both penalties and escape the first frame with the game knotted at 1-1, despite being outshot by UMB, 21-9, in the period.
New England College regained the goal advantage when freshman forward Matt Abbott (Kirkland, Quebec) beat UMass Boston senior goaltender Thomas Speer (Wausau, WI) with a wrap-around shot, his third goal of the year, just 2:12 into the middle period. Abbott was assisted by freshman defensemen Richard Ledy (Bloomfield, MI), helping the visitors take the 2-1 lead. Again, UMass Boston would immediately answer, evening the score at 2-2 when senior forward Lenward Gattison II (Blue Bell, PA) registered his first collegiate goal, just 1:35 after NEC's score, with a wrist-shot from inside the Pilgrims left defensive circle. Both Crowder and senior blueliner Brett Calhoun (Tulsa, OK) were credited with assists on the score.
Speer finished the game with 23 saves while Harvey posted 43 saves for the Pilgrims.
UMass Boston will be back in action on Friday, February 11 when they travel to Middlebury, VT to face Middlebury College in a 7:00 p.m. contest while New England College will be back in action the same night when they host Amherst College in a 7:00 p.m. tilt.