SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.—All three members of the Beacons' second line finished with two points, to lead #7/11 UMass Boston men's hockey past host Skidmore College 4-1 on Friday night at Saratoga Springs City Rinks.
#7/11 UMass Boston 4, Skidmore College 1
(UMass Boston 17-5, New England Hockey Conference 13-2)
(Skidmore College 11-9-2, New England Hockey Conference 7-6-2)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons took the lead 2:05 into the contest and used a big night from Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) and their penalty kill to earn some breathing room atop the conference.
With the Beacons win and #12/13 Babson College's 5-0 loss at Hobart College, UMass Boston leads the New England Hockey Conference by four points with three games to play.
The Beacons second line of Zack Bross (St. Louis, Mo.), Chris Peters (Rochester, N.Y.) and Nolan Redler (Winchester, Mass.) did the majority of the damage offensively. Bross and Peters each finished with a goal and an assist, while Redler tacked on two assists. The trio had their hands in three of the four Beacons' goals, including Bross scoring the game-winning tally.
In net, Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) tied his career-high for wins in a season (16) with the victory. The junior netminder made 28 saves on 29 shots and shutout the hosts for the opening 57+ minutes.
Skidmore junior netminder Brandon Kasel made 30 saves on 34 shots to fall to 0-2 this season against UMass Boston.
Carter gave the Beacons a 1-0 lead just 2:05 into the contest. Bross laid a big hit on a Thoroughbred along the near boards to free up the puck and Redler sent a centering feed to Carter at the top of the slot for a one-timer.
UMass Boston doubled their advantage at 16:24. This time it was Redler and Peters setting up Bross, with the Beacons sophomore firing a shot past Kasel's glove.
The second period would be an uphill battle for the Beacons, who found themselves down a man for long periods of the final 40 minutes.
MacBurnie and the penalty kill came up especially huge late in the period. After back-to-back penalties in a five-second span, MacBurnie came up with three huge saves to kill off 1:55 of 5-on-3 action.
After killing off an early penalty in the third period, UMass Boston found themselves down a man for five minutes starting at 2:28 of the third.
The Beacons penalty kill came up huge during the major penalty, as they allowed just two shots on goal to keep the game 2-0.
UMass Boston made the Thoroughbreds pay 1:07 later. Skinner took a centering feed in the low slot and sent a shot over Kasel's shoulder for a 3-0 advantage. John Bonno (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Pat Harrington (Stoneham, Mass.) were credited with assists on the play.
The Beacons put the game away for good with a goal at 14:52. Peters gobbled up Garrison Sanipass' (Northbrook, Ill.) rebound and pushed it past Kasel for a 4-0 lead.
Skidmore closed out the scoring at 17:30. On a broken play, Matt Wolf poked the puck past MacBurnie, as he tried to fall back on the puck.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot the Thoroughbreds 34-29, while Skidmore held a 34-29 edge in face-offs.
- Junior forward Dakota Keene (Poland, Maine) played as a defenseman for the first time in his collegiate career. He paired up with senior captain Gabe Chuckran (Media, Pa.) and earned the start.
- UMass Boston's penalty kill, which came into the day sitting second in the nation, finished 5-5. The Beacons spent 13:05 on the penalty kill without giving up a goal.
- MacBurnie continued one of the best stretches of his collegiate career. The junior netminder has now allowed 5 goals in his last six starts (0.83 GAA) and has stopped 128 of 133 shots in that span (.962 save %).
- The Beacons clinched a home NEHC Quarterfinal game with the victory. The Beacons can clinch a top-two seed with a victory over Hobart on Saturday. UMass Boston can clinch the number one overall seed with a win over Hobart and a loss or tie by Babson at Skidmore, or a tie and a Babson loss to Skidmore and a Norwich tie or loss against Johnson & Wales.
- MacBurnie moved into sole possession of second-place in program history for career wins (35) with the victory. He is also tied for second in a single-season with his 16 wins in a single-season.
#7/11 UMass Boston will travel to defending NEHC Tournament Champion Hobart College at 4 p.m.