Feb. 28, 2009

Box Score

NORTHFIELD, VT - Freshman defenseman Wayne Sands (Chalfant, PA) scored nearly 16 minutes into sudden-victory overtime and junior goaltender Ryan Donovan (Rexford, NY) stopped all 39 shots he saw to lead the number eight seed University of Massachusetts Boston men's ice hockey team over host number one seed Norwich University, 1-0, this evening in the Eastern College Athletic Conference East tournament quarterfinals in Northfield, VT in front of a crowd of 2,019 Kreitzberg Arena.

The Beacons improve to 9-15-2 with their first win over the Cadets since a 4-2 victory in Northfield on February 23, 1991. It's also the second win over a nationally-ranked team for UMB in the last 14 days and the second time in as many years that the Beacons have upset a higher seed to advance to the conference semifinals. Norwich, which is ranked 15th in the nation by, falls to 13-8-4 on the year.

UMass Boston will travel to Henniker, NH on Friday, March 6 to take on number four seed New England College, a 4-3 overtime winner over fifth-seeded University of Southern Maine, at 7:00 p.m. in the tournament semifinals. Second-seeded Castleton State College was upset by seventh-seeded Babson College, 4-1, while number three seed Salem State College was upset by number six seed Skidmore College, 4-3.

Donovan stopped every shot that he faced, including 12 in the extra session to earn the second shutout of his career for the Beacons and become the first goalie in school history to register a playoff blanking, while junior goalie Ryan Klingensmith (Morton, PA) kept the Cadets in the game throughout; making 24 saves on the night.

The game-winning play started when Sands fired a shot on goal from the right faceoff circle. Klingensmith made the save and kicked the rebound to the side of the net. Sands then picked up the puck and circled around the back of the net before snapping off a low wrist shot that beat Klingensmith at the 15:46 mark for his team-leading 10th goal of the campaign. The unassisted marker sent the Beacons into a celebratory frenzy on the ice at Kreitzberg. The loss is the first-ever for Norwich in an ECAC East quarterfinal game and the first for a number eight seed over a number one seed since at least 1999.

UMass Boston outshot Norwich 8-4 in an entertaining first period. The Beacons had a great opportunity right off the opening faceoff, but freshman forward Jim Ennis' (Roslindale, MA) shot glanced off the pipe. Both squads enjoyed quality scoring chances in the opening frame.

The Cadets seemed to have the better of play in the second period, outshooting UMass Boston 12-6 in the stanza.

Norwich controlled the third period, outshooting the Beacons 11-4 in the frame. The Cadets had several quality scoring opportunities, including a shot from senior forward Nikita Kashirsky (Moscow, Russia) that fluttered past Donovan but hit the pipe. Donovan and Klingensmith continued to stand tall throughout the third period, and the game moved into the extra session deadlocked at 0-0.

The Cadets generated more shots in the overtime (12-7), but they were unable to get anything past Donovan. The Beacons' goaltender was masterful throughout the period, making several incredible stops. Klingensmith was steady in the overtime as well, but Sands was finally able to break through near the end of the frame.

For the game, Norwich outshot UMass Boston 39-25. The Cadets were 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Beacons went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.