Travis Daniel Lifts Men's Hockey To Overtime Win Over Nor'Easters

BOSTON, Mass.—After 43 minutes and 32 seconds of bruising back-and-forth hockey, Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, N.J.) lifted UMass Boston (6-2-1, 2-2-1 ECAC East) to a 4-3 overtime victory over the University of New England (2-7-0, 1-5-0 ECAC East) Friday night at the Clark Athletic Ice Rink.

With droves of Beacons fans flocking the boards, Daniel took a pass from linemate Mike DeGrazia (Novi, Mich.) and slammed it into the nearside of the net as hard as he could, to lift the Beacons and earn two vital points in the conference standings.

The junior reached the 20-point plateau for the third straight season with two goals and an assist. For Daniel, it was the third-game winning goal already this season, and second in three games.

DeGrazia added three assists to keep pace with Daniel, while fellow senior Tim Richter (Naugatuck, Conn.) scored his second and third goals of the season. 

First-line center Max Reavis (Omaha, Neb.) added two assists, while Rob Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) and Derek Colucci (North Scituate, R.I.) chipped in with one assist apiece. 

Zach Andrews (Coral Springs, Fla.) helped the Beacons extend their longest winning streak of the season to four, with 21 saves on 24 shots. The Beacons freshman netminder earned his third straight victory and moved to 5-2-1 on the year.

Nor'Easters sophomore Ian Edwards made 21 saves as well, but allowed a goal on the only shot he faced in overtime.

After defeating the University of New England 5-3 in Sunday's P.A.L. Stovepipe Classic Championship Game, the Beacons faced a much stiffer test the second time around. The statistics showed the parity, as UMass Boston held a slim 25-24 edge in shots and 37-36 advantage in faceoffs.

For the second straight contest, the University of New England jumped out to an early lead. Nick Kolb gave the Nor'Easters a 1-0 lead just 1:57 into the contest, when he beat Andrews off of a Chris Glover pass.

Daniel tied the game up less than five minutes later when he rattled it home off passes from DeGrazia and Reavis. UMass Boston would claim a 2-1 lead at 8:26, when Richter redirected a laser shot from Florentino past Edwards and into the net. The goal came just 10 seconds into the Beacons first power-play of the night, with DeGrazia picking up the second assist. 

After a scoreless final 12 minutes of the stanza, the Nor'Easters scored another goal early in a period, as Sean Sullivan scored just 42 seconds into the second period. 

The Beacons would grab the lead back at 16:29 when Richter lifted a shot over Edwards' pads. Colucci picked up his first career assist on the play, while Daniel added his 12th of the season.

Ryan Quinn would take the air out of the Beacons and their lively crowd at 1:51 of the third period, when he scored off a pass from Brent Bourgeois and Glover.

The two teams spent the duration of the third period scoreless with both squads struggling to put together opportunities. Florentino made the defensive save of the night for UMB, when the senior defenseman raced back and sprawled out and got his stick on a pass to  break up a 2-on-1 Nor'Easters opportunity.

After failing to win their first three overtime games at home, UMass Boston picked up their energy in their extra session, putting together several chances that were knocked away by University of New England defenders. But Daniel and the Beacons were not to be denied.

With 3:32 to go, Daniel won a faceoff and the puck went skittering over to the boards, DeGrazia fought off a defender and sent it to the opposite circle for Daniel. The junior center wound up and sent a one-timer crashing into the twine to beat Edwards who was just a little slow in sliding across the net to make the save.

UMass Boston will look to finish off the fall semester with their first four-point weekend of the season when they take on the University of Southern Maine at 4 p.m.