February 15, 2013

No. 12 Men's Ice Hockey Blanks St. Michael's, 5-0

BOSTON, Mass. – Led by Zach Andrews' (Coral Springs, Fla.) first collegiate shutout 12th ranked men's ice hockey defeated St. Michael's College by the final of 5-0 to secure the number-two seed in next week's ECAC East tournament, Friday evening in an huge conference game in the Clark Athletic Center Ice Arena.

With the victory, the Beacons improve to 18-4-2, 11-4-2 in the conference.  The 18 victories are the second-most in program history behind the 1981-82 team that won the program's lone ECAC East championship.  For the Purple Knights they fell to 8-16-0, 5-12-0 in the ECAC East. 

Overall, Friday's victory was a solid team performance on both sides of the ice as the offense produced chance after chance, while the defense held St. Michael's to just 22 shots on the night, three of which in the third period alone. 

The victory marked the fourth straight for the Beacons over the Purple Knights and the second straight year that UMB has posted back-to-back wins in the regular season meetings.  On the year, UMB outscored the Purple Knights 15-3 overall, with 10 goals coming in their first meeting back in January.

Starting the scoring off for UMB was freshman Kit Sitterley (Mooresville, N.C.) at the 8:59 mark of the first period.  Rob Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) and Peter MacIntyre (Norfolk, Mass.) each earned an assist on the goal, with Florentino tallying his 20th of the year and MacIntyre his 12th.  With the assist, Florentino moves into third all-time at UMass Boston for points by a defenseman.  He now stands at 61 and is tied with Tad Merritt '87.

The Sitterley goal would hold-up as the Beacons lone tally of the first period, while Andrews and the defense did their job limiting the Purple Knights to 11 shots, while the Beacons offense managed 12 of-their-own. 

After the first break, UMB netted a pair goals early to gain some much needed breathing room on the scoreboard.  Both goals were scored in less than a two minute window, with Mike Kuhn (Holbrook, Mass.) finding the back of the net first.  The second score belonged to MacIntyre, his 19th of the year.  The second period was just as tight as the first the only difference was the physicality of the game started to pick-up.  Andrews totaled eight stops in the second frame, setting up what would be a dominant third.

UMB pretty much locked up the victory on Mike Miller's (Wrentham, Mass.) laser of a goal at the 6:42 mark of the third.  Andrew Crawford (Medford, Mass.) and Derek Colucci (North Scituate, R.I.) were each credited with the assists.  The clincher came with less than five minutes to play in the contest, when the contest began to get away from the officials.  After just two periods in the first 40 minutes of play, the final 20 saw a combined nine infractions between the two squads respectively.

Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, N.J.) earned the clincher on the power-play after Max Reavis (Omaha, Neb.) found the junior wide open on the far post.  The goal marked his 11th of the year, fourth power-play tally. 

While the offense was holding strong at one side of the ice, the defense was getting it done on the other as they limited St. Michael's to just three shots, which allowed Andrews to earn the shutout victory.  The freshman improved his already single-season win record to 16-4-2 overall.

On the power-play UMB finished 1-for-2, while the Purple Knights finished 0-for-4.  UMB led the contest in shots 35-22, and totaled all six of their power-play shots in the third period.  Eric McGuirk made 30 saves in the loss and fell to 2-4-0 overall.

Men's Hockey returns to action tomorrow when they host top-ranked Norwich University at 4 p.m. on senior day.