BOSTON, Mass.—#15/16 Manhattanville College struck for three goals in the final 5:50, to earn a 6-4 win over #9/11 UMass Boston men's hockey in the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Hockey Tournament First Round on Saturday night at the Edward T. Barry Ice Rink.
#15/16 Manhattanville 6, #9/11 UMass Boston 4
(UMass Boston 19-8-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
In a highly-competitive, physical back-and-forth battle, the Valiants scored the final three goals to earn a spot in the NCAA Quarterfinals next Saturday night at 7 p.m. against #2 SUNY Geneseo.
With the loss, UMass Boston sees their 2019 season come to an end. The contest also marks the final game of the careers of the Beacons extremely successful 10-man Senior Class. As a group, they are the only class to earn two trips to the NCAA Tournament, to win multiple conference regular season titles and they finished their career with a 71-34-7 record.
After struggling mightily at home in the NEHC Semifinals against Hobart College, UMass Boston came out with a different looking lineup and a different energy for Saturday night's contest.
The Beacons grabbed a 1-0 lead at 7:26 when freshman Stevie Bryant (Edmonds, Wash.) forced a turnover, skated in and rifled a shot past Manhattanville's Tyler Feaver.
Manhattanville answered back with back-to-back goals at 10:03 and 16:25 to take their first lead of the night.
UMass Boston tied the game before the break, thanks to a phenomenal play from sophomore defenseman Evan Heldt (Sylvania, Ohio). Playing in his first game since January 19, Heldt forced a turnover at his own blue line, skated the puck into the zone and delivered a perfect cross-ice pass for freshman Jeffrey Skinner (Houston, Texas) to one-time a shot into the near-side netting at 19:37.
The Valiants grabbed the lead early in the second on the first of Matt Lippa's three goals – a power-play tally at 2:05.
Freshman Chris Peters (Rochester, Mass.) got the Beacons into the break even once again thanks to a tremendous individual effort. The freshman followed his own rebound behind the net and continued to skate around the net, before sending his wrap-around effort past the netminder to tie the game at 3-3 at 17:26.
Peters gave UMass Boston their second and final lead of the game at 9:41. Daniel Nachbaur (Richland, Mass.) came up with the loose puck off a scramble behind the net and found Peters for a backhand shot at the far post for a 4-3 advantage.
The lead wouldn't hold up though, as Lippa tied the game at 14:10 and then scored his 20th goal of the season at 18:56 to stun the Beacons and their home fans.
Nigel Slade tipped a Beacons attempted pass into the empty-net with 15 seconds left to account for the final 6-4 margin.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot the Valiants 40-25 and earned a slim 44-40 edge in face-offs.
- Manhattanville finished 2-4 on the power-play, including goals on their first two chances. The Beacons ended the night 0-3.
- Heldt and senior Justin Holliday (Akron, Ohio) both made their returns to the lineup after long layoffs due to injury. Holliday overcame two wrist injuries to appear in one final game (his first career NCAA Tournament game). Saturday's contest marked Holliday's first appearance since January 12.
- Saturday's contest marked the first NCAA Tournament event of any kind to be hosted by UMass Boston on their campus. The Beacons also were hosting the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championship Meet this week at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury.
- Senior captain Gabe Chuckran (Media, Pa.) finishes his career second all-time in program history in games played (109).
- Junior netminder Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) made 19 saves on 24 shots. Feaver recorded 36 saves on 40 shots for the Valiants.
- With the loss, UMass Boston falls to 2-2 all-time in NCAA Tournament play in two all-time appearances and 0-1 against Manhattanville all-time.
The Beacons are expected to return 18 players for the 2018-19 season, including the team's top five scorers and MacBurnie.