November 16, 2012

Castleton State Outlasts Men's Hockey 5-4 In Overtime

BOSTON, Mass.-For the second time in three games, the UMass Boston men's hockey team (2-2-0, 1-2-0 ECAC East) went to overtime on their home ice and fell just short.

After blowing a 4-1 lead, the Castleton State College Spartans (2-2-0. 2-2-0 ECAC East) found the back of the net just over three minutes into the overtime session to defeat the Beacons 5-4 at the Clark Athletic Center Rink.

Kyle Pichler found the back of the net through traffic at the 3:16 mark of the overtime session to give the Spartans their first win since opening night. Senior Mike Richards added four assists, including a helper on the final goal to help the Spartans earn the two points.

Senior assistant captains Mike DeGrazia (Novi, Mich.) and Rob Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) each recorded a goal and an assist for UMB. Freshman Jeremy Finger (Orlando, Fla.) added his first career goal and junior defenseman Cam Harvey (Bow, N.H.) scored his first goal of the season.

In net, Zach Andrews (Coral Springs, Fla.) allowed four goals over the first 29 minutes, before stopping the final 13 Spartan shots in regulation. For the game, Andrews made 26 saves on 31 shots.

Erick Cinotti was just a bit better for Castleton State with 24 saves on 28 shots. The team's starting goalie from a year ago was making his first appearance of the season and had a tremendous glove save late in the third period to rob Tim Richter (Nagatuck, Conn.) of his second straight game-winning goal.

After a strong first period from the Beacons, the Spartans controlled the stat-sheet over the final two periods and overtime. Castleton State outshot the Beacons 31-28 and won 45 of 88 faceoffs.

The Beacons scored the lone goal of a quiet first period when Rob Florentino took a pass from Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, N.J.) and DeGrazia and sent a low shot through traffic just inside the post.

Castleton State College would quickly answer the Beacons charge in the second period with four goals over the first 9:39 of the stanza. Dan Bell tied the game 1-1 just 12 seconds into the period on a feed from Nick Lazorko and Ryan Frost.

Less than three minutes later, Kevin Van Dyk made it 2-1 on the first of Harris' assists. At the 4:49 mark, Taylor Swarter gave the Spartans a 3-1 edge, with Harris and Pichler each picking up assists.

Gabriel Cromp ended the Spartans scoring flurry at the 9:39 mark with his first career goal. Cromp received a pass from Harris and sent a screamer off the crossbar and into the net on a shot that left the post ringing loudly for several seconds.

UMass Boston got some life back at 12:36, when Finger skated into the Beacons zone with Mike Miller (Wrentham, Mass.) and buried a shot past Cinotti. Junior Mike Kuhn (Holbrook, Mass.) also picked up an assist in his first game played in over a year.

The Beacons carried the momentum of the late goal into the third period with two quick strikes to even the game.

Frankie DeAugustine (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Kit Sitterley (Mooresville, N.C.) skated the length of the ice with Harvey and Harvey found the back of the net with a high shot over Cinotti's shoulder.

Less than 90 seconds later, DeGrazia tied the score at four when he buried a shot  at 6:19 of the third period. Florentino and Richter both picked up assists on the play.

The score would stay even in regulation despite the Beacons putting up a ton of chances late in the period, including Richter's point-blank shot. The senior forward received a tic-toe pass six feet out of the crease and sent a high shot towards a seemingly empty net, before Cinotti slid a cross the crease and made the glove save to force overtime.

Neither team put together any good chances in overtime, until Pichler's shot slipped through a screen and by Andrews to end the conference showdown. 

UMass Boston will return to the ice Saturday when they host Skidmore College at 3 p.m.