NORTHFIELD, Vt.—Behind a hat trick from freshman Scott Swanson, #1 Norwich University ended #4 UMass Boston men's hockey's season in the New England Hockey Conference Semifinals Saturday night at Kreitzberg Arena.
#1 Norwich 6, #4 UMass Boston 3
(UMass Boston 17-10)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Swanson scored twice in the opening 5:16 to give the Cadets a lead they would never surrender, as the Cadets advanced to their second-straight NEHC Tournament Title Game.
Senior Colin Larkin (Waterford, Mich.), junior Garrison Sanipass (Northbrook, Ill.) and Daniel Nachbaur (Richland, Wash.) all scored for the Beacons in the loss. UMass Boston sees their season come to an end with a 17-10 record.
The contest marked the 111th and final game in Larkin's historic career. The Beacons' lone senior and captain finishes his career as the program-record holder in games played (111) and power-play goals (23). He also finishes his time as a Beacon in the top-five in program history in goals (64-t-4th), assists (84-3rd), points (148-4th) and game-winning goals (nine-3rd).
Freshman defenseman Nick Albano (Beverly, Mass.) paced the Beacons with a pair of assists in the loss.
Sophomore goalie Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) took the loss in his first career start at Norwich. MacBurnie allowed five goals on 23 shots, before being replaced by junior Anthony D'Urso (Rome, N.Y.) with 15 minutes left. D'Urso stopped all eight shots he faced, before being pulled for an extra attacker.
Swanson and fellow freshman Colby Downs (one goal and three assists) paced the Cadets with four points apiece. Senior Kevin Salvucci added a goal and an assist while Carter Cowlthorp tacked on a goal of his own.
In net, senior Braeden Ostepchuk made 30 saves on 33 shots to improve to 12-5-2 on the season.
Swanson gave the hosts the lead on the second shot of the contest. MacBurnie made the initial save on a Downs shot, but Swanson poked home the rebound at 1:32.
The Cadets kept up the initial pressure and made it 2-0 less than five minutes later. This time Swanson found the back of the net off of passes from Downs and Cam Beecy.
UMass Boston cut the deficit in half on their first power-play chance of the game. Just over 30 seconds after the power play started, Sanipass roofed home a shot to make it 2-1. Freshman Zack Bross (St. Louis, Mo.) and Albano earned assists on the play.
Norwich pushed their lead back to two goals at 5:18 of the second. This time it was Cowlthorp firing a shot just inside the post off Salvucci's feed.
Larkin kept the Beacons in the game with a goal of his own at 8:43. The senior captain beat Ostepchuk from the far circle to make it 3-2. Nolan Redler (Winchester, Mass.) and Albano each were credited with assists.
Downs put the Cadets into the driver's seat at the end of the second, when he scored to make it 4-2 at 12:21.
The Beacons had a chance to go into the locker room only down by one, but they couldn't convert on their third and final power play of the day.
Swanson put the game out of reach early in the third, when he rifled a shot past MacBurnie at 5:07.
UMass Boston wouldn't go down without a fight though. The Beacons won the ensuing face-off and Nachbaur scored 18 seconds later, with John Bonno (Kennesaw, Ga.) registering an assist.
The Beacons would keep the pressure up, but both Sanipass and Bross were denied by the post in the third period.
With the net empty and under a minute to play, Salvucci scored an empty-net goal to cap off the scoring.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot Norwich 33-32, including 14-7 in the second period. The Beacons also held a 35-24 edge in face-offs.
- The Beacons finished 1-2 on the power play, while Norwich went 0-2.
- With the win, Norwich improves to 43-10 all-time against the Beacons and 6-1 in postseason play.
- The Beacons anticipate bringing back everyone but Larkin for the 2018-19 season.
- Bross finishes his freshman season tied for fourth in a single-season with 33 assists.
- Redler and Larkin both finished the year tied for tied for sixth in a single-season with 24 goals.