HENNIKER, N.H. – Led by junior forward Travis Daniel's (North Brunswick, N.J.) two goals and one assist, men's ice hockey (1-0-0, 1-0-0 ECAC East) opened their season with a strong win as they defeated New England College (0-1-0, 0-1-0 ECAC East) by the final of 4-1 in the ECAC East and season opener for both teams Friday evening.
The season opening win marks first for the Beacons since the 1997-98 season, when UMass Boston defeated Trinity College (Conn.) by the final of 6-3. It is also the 11th win all-time against the Pilgrims.
UMass Boston got on the scoreboard midway through the opening frame when senior Mike DeGrazia (Novi, Mich.) netted his first goal of the season, off of a Rob Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) and Daniel assist. Less than two minutes later the Beacons extended their lead to 2-0, when Daniel drove home his first goal of the 2012-13 season.
Freshman Kit Sitterley (Mooresville, N.C.) pushed UMass Boston's lead to three with the only goal, a power-play score, at the 11:26 mark in the second. In the final period, it was Daniel who clinched the victory, when he redirected a John Houston (Pittsburgh, Pa.) pass. Also getting the assist on the play was DeGrazia.
New England College unfortunately ended the Beacons shutout bid when Samuli Turunen scored his squad's only goal five minutes after Daniel's second tally.
In goal freshman Zach Andrews (Coral Springs, Fla.) quickly showed that he can compete at the collegiate level as he made a combined 25 saves in the win. Shawn Sirman was handed the loss after making 26 saves in the conference game.
Helping Andrews limit the Pilgrims offense, was a combined defensive effort from the Beacons. Of the six defensemen that dressed for Friday's contest six were returners, while on the offensive of the redline there Beacons had only three returners dress for the match-up with the Pilgrims.
On the night, UMass went 1-for-4 on the power-play, while the penalty kill held New England College to 0-for-5. UMass also led the contest in shots with 30. The Pilgrims posted 26 shots in the conference loss.
Men's Hockey returns to action tomorrow when they host St. Anselm College at 7 p.m. in the Clark Athletic Center Ice Arena.