BOSTON, Mass.--For the first time in head coach Peter Belisle's tenure, UMass Boston is ranked in the D3Hockey.com National Poll.
After sweeping a pair of ECAC East foes this weekend, the Beacons are ranked 14th in the Men's Top 15 that was released Monday afternoon.
UMass Boston is off to their best start since the 1987-88 season with a 7-2-1 record and 3-2-1 mark in ECAC East play.
The Beacons enter the winter-break intermission red hot with a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) and a season-high five-game win streak. The Beacons six-game unbeaten steak is the fourth longest in the country amongst Division III teams.
First line-forwards Mike DeGrazia (Novi, Mich.) and Travis Daniel (North Brunswich, N.J.) are tied for third in the nation with 2.00 points per game and have led a Beacons offense that is fifth in the country in scoring at 5.10 goals per game.
Senior defenseman Rob Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) is second amongst defenseman nationally with his 1.50 points per game and it tied with Daniel for sixth in the nation in assists per game (1.20).
The most surprising aspect of the Beacons' success this season is the team's youth. UMass Boston's roster includes 13 freshman and 14 new faces; on any given night, the Beacons have dressed up to a dozen first-year players.
Freshman Kit Sitterley (Mooresville, N.C.) and Max Reavis (Omaha, Neb.) have been two of the most productive first-year players, with each earning a spot amongst the top 20 rookie scorers in the country in points per game.
In net, freshman Zach Andrews (Coral Springs, Fla.) has been the starter since Day One, making eight starts in nine appearances. The former New Hampshire Jr. Monarch is 6-2-1 on the season with a 3.16 goals against average and .881 save percentage. Saturday, Andrews earned his fourth-straight victory and posted a career-high 30 saves in a 5-2 win over the University of Southern Maine.
The Beacons will have a month-long break before their next game, when they host the Wentworth Institute of Technology January 5th, in the first round of the Codfish Bowl Tournament.