BOSTON, Mass.—Freshman Ethan Nitkin's (Miami Beach, Fla.) first-career, hat trick helped #9/9 UMass Boston complete their fourth conference sweep of the season, Saturday afternoon at the Edward T. Barry Ice Rink.
#9/9 UMass Boston 6, Skidmore College 3
(UMass Boston 10-1, NEHC 8-0)
(Skidmore College 4-5-1, NEHC 2-3-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After scoring his second collegiate goal on Friday night, Nitkin scored a goal in all three periods, to lift the #9 Beacons past visiting Skidmore College.
The freshman right-winger scored the opening goal of the game, and then added the final two Beacon goals. He finished with three goals on four shots on goal and finished +5 overall.
His linemates Daniel Nachbaur (Richland, Wash.) and Garrison Sanipass (Northbrook, Ill.) each finished with two points apiece and +5 overall. Nachbaur recorded the game-winning goal and added an assist, while Nachbaur had a team-high two assists.
In net, Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) came up huge for the second-straight day. The junior stopped 24 of 27 shots, including all nine he faced in the first period and 10 more in the second. MacBurnie was at his best when the game was still scoreless, as he was called upon to make several highlight reel saves.
Skidmore College junior Tim Allen recorded two of the three Thoroughbreds goals. Senior Max Hegge added the final goal for Skidmore, who fell to 0-3-1 in conference road games.
Junior Brandon Kasel suffered his fifth loss of the year after allowing three goals on 11 shots in the opening 20 minutes. Sophomore Brian Kowalski came on in relief and allowed just two goals on 27 shots.
Skidmore College held the upper hand in the opening 10 minutes of the contest, until UMass Boston struck for three goals on five shots in a 1:37 span.
Nitkin opened the scoring, when he redirected John Bonno's (Kennesaw, Ga.) shot from the point over Kasel's shoulder at 12:57.
Skinner doubled the lead 26 seconds later, when he scored an unassisted goal on a shot from the near circle.
Gallagher closed out the scoring run at 14:34, when his shot from the point made it through traffic and past Kasel.
The Beacons extended their lead to 4-0 just 27 seconds into the second period. After losing the opening draw, the Beacons won the puck in the neutral zone and Nachbaur skated in on net before having his shot stopped by Kowalski. The junior skated with the puck behind the net, out to the near side and then back to the far side-before whipping a backhand shot through Kowalski's pads.
Hegge put the Thoroughbreds on the board at 8:59 of the second. Owen Campbell found the senior wide open in the near circle. While MacBurnie was able to make the initial save on the 1-on-1 chance, the rebound slipped behind MacBurnie and Hegge tipped it just inside the near post.
Nitkin and the Beacons answered back less than three minutes later. Sanipass evaded a check behind the net and then swerved and found a wide open Nitkin on the far side for an easy one-timer goal.
MacBurnie made one of his best saves of the day late in the second, when he denied Campbell on a pair of shots, after Campbell was sprung for a 1-on-1 chance.
Allen scored the first of his two goals at 5:35 of the third. MacBurnie made the initial save on a redirected shot from the point, but the rebound fell to Allen who roofed a shot into the top right-corner. Muzyka and Sam Loizeaux recorded assists on the play.
The junior tacked on his second goal of the game with under a minute to play. He skated the puck through the neutral zone, cut back to the near circle and lifted a backhand shot to cut the deficit to 5-3.
Skidmore pulled Kowalski searching for a late comeback, but Nitkin intercepted a Thoroughbred pass and easily scored on the empty-net.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot Skidmore 39-27. The Thoroughbreds earned a 33-23 edge in the face-off dot.
- UMass Boston finished 0-4 in the face-off dot, while Skidmore went 0-5. The Beacons PK finished the weekend 11-11 and have now killed off 25 of their past 26 penalties over the past five games.
- With the win, UMass Boston tied the all-time series 15-15-4. The Beacons have won four of the past five meetings.
- With #12/12 Hobart College beating Babson College, UMass Boston is now the only New England Hockey Conference team without a loss. The Beacons lead the second-place Beavers by three points in the NEHC Standings.
- With the win, MacBurnie is just one career win shy of tying Ryan Donovan ('10) for fourth-place in program history (29).
UMass Boston will travel to Curry College on Friday night at 6:50 p.m. for their final non-conference road game of the season.