BOSTON, Mass.—#12/13 Norwich University defenseman Jake Erickson's goal with 6:03 remaining in the third period, proved to be the difference, as the conference leaders slipped past #10/12 UMass Boston men's hockey 5-4.
BY THE NUMBERS
#12/13 Norwich 5, #10/12 UMass Boston 4
(UMass Boston 14-7-0, NEHC 9-5-0)
(Norwich 14-5-1, NEHC 11-2-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
With the two teams tied 4-4 after two periods, Erickson scored just 14 seconds after a Norwich power-play expired, to give the Cadets the season-sweep of the Beacons.
Juniors Garrison Sanipass (Northbrook, Ill.) and John Regnart (Anchorage, Alaska) each added a goal, while Nolan Redler (Winchester, Mass.) and Tyler Sifferlen (North Andover, Mass.) registered two assists apiece.
In net, Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) stopped 35 of 40 shots in the loss. MacBurnie. MacBurnie stopped 18 shots in the second period and denied Norwich on 19 of their final 20 shots.
Five different players scored in the victory for the Cadets, who stretched their lead out to five points on the Beacons. Coby Downs, Ryan Boucher, Jack Griffin, Kale Kane and Boucher all netted goal in the victory.
Braeden Ostephchuk made 36 saves on 40 shots to improve to 10-5-1.
UMass Boston took the lead just 2:34 into the contest. After Sifferlen kept the forecheck pressure on to keep the puck in the zone, Regnart raced into the zone, picked up the puck and skated past two defenders. He then ripped a shot off Ostepchuk's shoulder for a 1-0 advantage.
Downs answered for the Cadets 1:50 later. Less than a minute after a Beacons penalty, Downs received a pass at the top of the near circle and ripped a slapshot under the bar for a 1-1 tie.
Larkin gave the Beacons the lead back 50 seconds later. Albano sent a soft shot towards the front of net and Larkin tipped the shot high over Ostepchuk to make it 2-1 at 5:14.
Norwich answered at 8:53 after a bad Beacons giveaway at their own blue line. The Beacons turned it over just in front of their own bench, and Griffin skated in one-one-one with MacBurnie before beating the Beacons' goalie high.
The Cadets took their first lead of the game just 23 seconds into the second. After the puck got stuck in a Beacons uniform, the puck flew over to Kane, who rocketed a shot just under the bar to make it 3-2 Norwich.
UMass Boston answered back at 5:20 on the power play. Albano collected the puck at the top of the far circle and sent a soft, pinpointed shot into the back of the net for a 3-3 game. Redler and Zack Bross (St. Louis, Mo.) earned assists on the play.
Norwich took the lead back just 36 seconds later on a fluky play. The original shot from the blue line got knocked down and bounced around to Boucher, who tipped it through MacBurnie's five-hole for a 4-3 edge.
UMass Boston tied the game for the final time at 10:08. Larkin skated through the neutral zone and into the far corner. He floated a pass in that tipped off of Redler and deflected off of a charging Sanipass and in for a 4-4 tie.
The two teams played a much more cagey third period, with the two sides struggling to generate chances. Norwich got the better end of the chances thanks to their two power plays.
Despite the fact that the Beacons killed both penalties, Norwich was able to keep the pressure going after their second chance. Jordan Hall was allowed to gain the zone and dished off for Thompson, who found Erickson at the top of the near circle. Erickson rifled a high shot past MacBurnie glove side to make it 5-4 at 13:57.
Norwich put a trap on for the final six minutes to slow the Beacons breakout. UMass Boston pulled the goalie with 1:18, but struggled to get established in the zone. With less than 10 seconds left, the Beacons finally set up, but the Beacons couldn't get off a shot in time from just in front of the crease.
BY THE NUMBERS
- The two teams finished tied in shots 40-40, while Norwich earned a 42-31 edge in face-offs.
- UMass Boston went 1-4 on the power play to stretch their power play goal streak to six-straight. Norwich ended the night 1-5 on the man advantage.
- With the win, Norwich improved to 42-10 all-time against the Beacons.
- The Beacons sit in fourth-place in the NEHC standings with four games to play. UMass Boston is five points behind Norwich, two points behind Hobart College and one point behind rival Babson College.
UMass Boston will head on the road for their final regular-season road trip. UMass Boston will be at Skidmore College on Friday at 7 p.m., before traveling to #11/13 Hobart College at 4 p.m on Saturday.