BOSTON, Mass. - Travis Daniel's (North Brunswick, N.J.) power-play goal at the 9:48 mark of the third period not only salvaged a 2-2 overtime draw with ECAC East rival Skidmore College, but it moved the senior forward to the top of the all-time list for power-play goals in a career Friday evening at the Clark Athletic Center.
For the New Jersey native, he now sits with 18 career power-play goals surpassing former greats Jeff Mead '88, Chris Spillane '94, and Dan Mecrones '87. The goal proved to be even more special as the Beacons picked-up a much needed point in what is becoming a very close race atop the ECAC East conference standings.
The Beacons (13-4-3, 6-4-3 ECAC East) are holding on to the number four-spot, while the top three spots continue to see movement between Norwich University, Babson College, and New England College. Friday's draw also ends a three-game conference skid for the Beacons dating back to the 3-2 loss at New England College two weeks ago.
Daniel's career breaking accomplishment is another mark to what has become the best season ever for the senior forward. Earlier this year, Daniel surpassed the 100-point mark, and has wasted little time climbing the prestigious list. He now sits tied for eighth all-time with 115 points alongside Jim Geary '93.
For the Beacons, Daniel's goal could not have come at a better time after trailing 2-1 to the Thoroughbreds for nearly 26 minutes. After a scoreless first, the two teams exchanged goals in less than a four minute window with Skidmore (7-7-7, 3-5-6 ECAC East) coming out with the lead. The Beacons did get on the board thanks to a Sam Boyd (Lake Worth, Fla.) goal at 3:13 of the second. Connor McStravick (Philadelphia, Pa.) picked-up his second assist on the play.
However that goal was quickly countered by a Marc Cibelli score at the 4:40 mark to put Skidmore out in front again. The Thoroughbreds ended the scoreless draw less than two minutes into the second when Vlad Gavrik managed to sneak the puck past Beacons netminder Billy Faust (Alta Loma, Calif.).
Despite trailing throughout most of the second period, the Beacons offense peppered Skidmore's backline. Shot after shot rang off Jack McDonald's pads or off the posts. UMass dominated the period and went into the second intermission leading 30-17 in shots.
The third period was a back-and-forth affair, with Daniel scoring the lone tally of regulation. Peter MacIntyre (Norfolk, Mass.) and Nathan Milam (Westland, Mich.) earned their 17th and 16th assists respectively on the game-tier.
With neither team able to end the draw the two squads headed into overtime. For Skidmore Friday's overtime contest marked their ninth of the year, which is just two short of tying the all-time NCAA record for most overtime games in a single season.
Both teams had their chances in the five minute overtime, but the best opportunity had to go to the Beacons. After moving the puck around the back of the net they managed to find an open player right in front of the goal.
As time continued to wind down quickly the Beacons forward unloaded a shot which deflected up in the air. McDonald, who initially had a good look at the puck, lost it in the air just as it was getting ready to come down.
However a Skidmore defenseman made the play of the period as he stuck his stick out at the last second to push the puck wide of the goal. Had he not been there the puck would have ended up in the back of the cage giving UMass Boston a much needed two points in the conference standings.
On the night McDonald posted 42 stops, four of which came in the OT. For Faust he tallied 30 saves, with four of those also coming in the overtime frame.
The Beacons owned the only power-play goal of the night as they went 1-for-4 on the man-up opportunities. Skidmore ended the night 0-for-3 on the power-play, and registered just one shot on goal in those three chances.
Men's Hockey returns to action tomorrow when they host Castleton State College at 3 p.m.