March 7, 2009
HENNIKER, NH - Senior forward Brad Baldelli (Northboro, MA) scored with just 5:36 left in overtime to lift the seventh-seeded Babson College men's ice hockey team over number eight seed University of Massachusetts Boston, 4-3, this afternoon to capture the Eastern College Athletic Conference East Championship in Henniker, NH in front of a crowd of 270 at Lee Clement Arena. The Beacons finish their season with a 10-15-2 record, while the Beavers improve to 13-13-1 and earn an automatic NCAA Tournament berth to be announced later tonight.
Following over 14 minutes of scoreless hockey in overtime, senior JT Balben (Wayland, MA) dug the puck out of the corner and found Baldelli in front of the net for his 10th tally of the year and the game-winning shot that found the left corner of the back of the net at 14:24 of the overtime to give Babson a 4-3 victory. The score was also the 100th point of his collegiate career.
Babson broke into the scoring column first when senior forward Pat McLaughlin (Berlin, MA) fed freshman forward Mike Hoban (Medfield, MA) in the corner, who then sent a pass to junior forward Shane Farrell (West Warwick, RI) in front of the crease, where he sent a wrister into the left corner of the net at the 12:54 mark of the opening period for his seventh goal of the year. UMass Boston wasted no time in answering when Kris Kranzky (Glendora, CA) set up sophomore forward Eric Tufman (Abington, PA) for a shot on net that was blocked, but classmate Matt Atsoff (Macomb, MI) was there for the rebound with a backhander that found the back of the net for his ninth tally of the season just 89 seconds later at 14:23 to knot the contest at 1-1.
The Beavers dominated the first half of the second period, outshooting the Beacons, 9-1, in the first nine minutes, including a shot from the point on the power play from senior defenseman Alex DiPietro (Winthrop, MA), on a feed from junior blueliner Casey Fazekas (Montreal, QUE) and junior forward Jason Schneider (Littleton, MA), that found the back of the net for his eighth goal of the season at 8:09 of the period for a 2-1 edge. Despite being outshot in the period, 18-6, UMass Boston made the most of its chances when freshman forward Chris Wyman (Bartlett, IL) sent a lead pass to classmate Bryan Albert (Redlands, CA) in the right circle where he fed a streaking Vinnie Jacona (East Stroudsburg, PA) for his team-leading 10th goal of the year on a shot in front of the crease as he crashed into the net with just :44.6 ticks left in the middle period to pull the Beacons even at 2-2.
Babson took the edge first in the third period on the power play when junior defenseman Gabriel Chenard-Poirer (Saint Augustin, QUE) took a one-timer slap shot on a feed from Farrell, but it was stopped in front only to be put into the back of the net on a backhander by sophomore forward Terry Woods (Duxbury, MA) at 13:18 of the period with just seven seconds remaining on the power play. UMass Boston got the equalizer on its own power play when freshman forward Jeff Van Siclen (Alamo, CA) found the top right corner in a scramble in front of the net for his third goal of the season with just one second left on the power play and 1:47 left in regulation with an assist from Tufman and Kranzky to tie the score at 3-3.
Junior goaltender Ryan Donovan (Rexford, NY) stopped a season-high 43 shots for the Beacons and also established the school's career record for minutes played with 4,174:29, while freshman Andrew Peabody (Marblehead, MA) turned away 27 shots to earn the victory for the Beavers, who owned a 47-30 shot advantage.
2009 ECAC East All-Tournament Team Eric Tufman, F - UMass Boston; Wayne Sands, D - UMass Boston; Ryan Donovan, G - UMass Boston; Terry Woods, F - Babson; Brad Baldelli, F - Babson; Alex DiPietro, D - Babson; Most Outstanding Player: Jason Schneider, F - Babson