February 22, 2014

#14/16 Men's Hockey Advances To ECAC East Semifinals With 7-2 Win Over UNE

BOSTON, Mass.--#14/16 UMass Boston men's hockey scored two goals in the opening 2:33 to help head coach Peter Belisle earn his 100th career victory Saturday afternoon with a 7-2 victory over sixth-seeded University of New England (UNE) in the ECAC East Quarterfinals.

Belisle, the all-time winningest head coach in program history, moved to 100-95-16 with the victory and 5-7 all-time in ECAC East Tournament games.  With the win, third-seed UMass Boston moves to 17-5-4 and advances to next Saturday's ECAC East Semifinals, with the matchup still to be determined.

The University of New England wraps up their season with the best record in program history at 10-15-1.

 All four lines scored in the win for the Beacons, led by two goals from junior forward Nathan Milam (Westland, Mich.). Senior Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, N.J.) added a goal and an assist to move into sole possession of fifth-place in program-history with 125 career points. Daniel also tied Joe Bulens ('85) for second-place all-time in career games played, as he suited up for the 103rd time in his career. 

Sophomore Peter MacIntyre (Norfolk, Mass.) added to his team-leading goals and points total with a goal and two assists, while junior Stephen Buco (North Providence, R.I.) picked up two assists, to notch his fourth-straight multi-point contest.

In all six Beacons found the back of the net and nine players recorded points for UMass Boston, which advances to the ECAC East Semifinals in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 08-09 campaign.

Sophomore netminder Billy Faust (Alta Loma, Calif.) stopped 35 of 37 shots, to help the Beacons move to 14-0-1 all-time against the Nor'Easters.

Jared Melman scored his team-leading 16th tally for the visitors, while Zeth Zielinski added the second tally for UNE. Junior goalie Colby Drost stopped 26 of 33 shots through the first 45 minutes, before being replaced by Craig Ryan-who stopped all six shots he saw.

Junior defenseman Dan Cornell (Abington, Mass.) put the Beacons on the board just 37 seconds into the contest, when he rifled home a shot from the blue line, as the fans were still just barely filing into their seats.

The Beacons pushed the lead to 2-0 less than two minutes later, when Milam struck for the Beacons' first power-play goal of the night, just five seconds into the man-advantage. Milam won the faceoff to his right where MacIntyre picked up the puck and sent it to Buco at the blue line, Buco sent a laser towards net that Drost knocked down, but Milam corralled the rebound and sent a back-hand shot just inside the near post.

UMass Boston tacked on a third goal at 7:50 of the period, when MacIntyre struck off a feed from Grinhaus. MacIntyre forced a UNE turnover at the blue line and sent a pass to Grinhaus, who gave it right back to MacIntyre. The First Team All-Conference selection proceeded to skate in on net and carry out a series of moves, before roofing home a shot short-side.

The Nor'Easters responded 10 minutes later when Melman redirected Patrick Borer's slap-shot past Faust. With Cody Dixon (Hales Corners, Wisc.) in the box for the Beacons, Tom Gildersleeve sent a pass to the point for Borer, who rocketed a shot towards net and Melman tipped it high over Faust's shoulder, to make it a 3-1 game heading into the first intermission.

Daniel gave the Beacons back a three-goal lead 12:53 into the second period after a series of nifty tic-tac toe passes. MacIntyre and Buco went back-and-forth before finding Daniel out in front, and the senior captain spun around and sent a hard shot over Drost's pads for a 4-1 lead.

The Beacons added to their lead late in the period on an Albee Daley (Averill Park, N.Y.) short-handed tally. The freshman tipped a UNE pass out of the zone and Connor McStravick (Philadelphia, Pa.) tracked it down, just ahead of a Nor'Easter defender. With Daley racing towards net, McStravick sent it ahead, and Daley buried a shot over Drost's shoulder to give UMass Boston a 5-1 edge at the 2:19 mark.

Zielinski cut the deficit back to three just 49 seconds into the third, when he knocked a rebound past Faust, just seconds after a UMass Boston penalty expired.

The momentum wouldn't last long for the Nor'Easters, as Milam answered back with his second power-play tally of the night a minute and two seconds later. Milam once again found himself in the right spot, as Daniel's initial shot was stopped, but Milam found the rebound in the crease and poked it home for his career-best 12th marker. 

Frankie DeAugustine (Pittsburgh, Pa.) capped off the scoring at the 4:50 mark with an unassisted tally. The sophomore forward intercepted a Nor'Easters pass and sent his initial offering off the crossbar, before picking up his own rebound and pinging a shot off of Drost and in.

UMass Boston finished 3-for-6 on the power-play, while the Nor'Easters went 1-for-7. On the season, UMass Boston converted on 50 percent (9-for-18) of their power-play efforts in four wins over the UNE.