Mass. College Hockey: No. 3/5 Babson Ties St. Michael’s, Earns Share of ECAC East Regular-Season Title

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Babson College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about the men’s ice hockey team, which concluded its regular season slate with a 1-1 overtime tie to St. Michael’s, along with a share of the ECAC East Regular-Crown:

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt.—Junior Andrew Bonazza (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) gave visiting Babson College the lead midway through the second period, but Saint Michael’s junior Jeremy Wong (Montreal, Quebec) scored with 2:34 left in the third period as the teams skated to a 1-1 overtime tie in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East men’s ice hockey action on Saturday afternoon.

With the tie, Babson (No. 3 D3hockey.com/No. 5 USCHO.com) claimed a share of the conference regular-season title, and is now 19-4-2 overall and 13-3-2 in the ECAC East. Saint Michael’s closes its regular season at 6-16-3 and 3-12-3 in league play.

Sophomore Max Franklin (Wrentham, Mass.) and first-year Michael Phillips (Richmond Heights, Ohio) each notched an assist for the Beavers. Sophomore goaltender Jamie Murray (Scituate, Mass.) turned away 17 shots.

Sophomore Nick Potter (Stoneham, Mass.) recorded an assist for the Purple Knights, who got 40 saves from junior goaltender Dave Donzanti (West Chester, Pa.) for the second consecutive night.

Babson held a 15-8 edge in shots on goal over the first 20 minutes but were unable to break through before Bonazza’s power play goal at 10:21 of the second. Phillips fed Bonazza with a cross-ice pass and he ripped a shot past Donzanti for his fourth power play tally of the season.

First-year Dan Casey (Chatham, N.J.) had a chance to extend the lead for the Beavers but was robbed by Donzanti, who made a tremendous save on his bid from just below the left face-off circle later in the period.

Murray, who made 14 of his saves over the first two periods, denied Purple Knights’ junior William Cote’s (Quebec City, Quebec) breakaway chance at 4:55 of the third period, and Babson killed off a tripping penalty at 13:33 of the final period to remain in front. Saint Michael’s finally broke through late though, as Wong’s 12th goal of the season, off a dump pass from Potter, forced overtime.

The Purple Knights blocked four shots during the extra stanza that saw neither team register a shot on goal.

Babson, which earned the second seed in the upcoming ECAC East Tournament, returns to action next Saturday night when it hosts seventh-seeded University of Southern Maine in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m.

GAME NOTES: The Beavers 19 regular-season victories are the most since 1987-88…Babson is now 9-3-2 on the year in games decided by one goal or less…The Beavers are 8-0-1 this winter when leading after the second period and 15-2-1 when allowing two goals or less.

Mass. College Hockey: No. 6 Babson Skates Past St. Michael’s, 8-3

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Babson College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about the men’s ice hockey team, which is ranked No. 6 in the latest D3Hockey.com poll, that defeated St. Michael’s, 8-3:

BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Mike Driscoll (Milton, Mass.) scored a pair of goals and sophomore Max Franklin (Wrentham, Mass.) notched a career-high three assists as sixth-ranked Babson College powered past Saint Michael’s College, 8-3, in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East men’s ice hockey action on Friday night at the Babson Skating Center.

With the win, Babson is now 12-3-0 overall and 6-2-0 in the league, while Saint Michael’s drops to 1-10-1 overall and 0-7-1 in conference play.

First-year Tim Searles (Chesapeake, Va.) recorded a goal and two assists for the Beavers, while seniors Shayne Anderson (Dorchester, Mass.) and Matt O’Neill (Norwell, Mass.), as well junior Andrew Bonazza (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia), each chipped in with a goal and an assist for the Beavers. Senior Nik Tasiopoulos (Norwell, Mass.) scored once and first-year Michael Phillips (Richmond Heights, Ohio) added two assists in the win.

Junior AJ Pieprzak (Barrie, Ontario) led the Purple Knights with a goal and an assist, while classmate Wiliam Cote (Quebec City, Quebec) notched a pair of assists.

O’Neill got Babson on the board just 8:39 into the first period with his second goal of the season, converting a feed from Franklin for a 1-0 lead. Saint Michael’s pulled even late in the period, though, taking advantage of its first power play opportunity as Pieprzak scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season on a blast from the slot at 19:12.

The Beavers wasted little time regaining the lead as first-year Bill Seligman (Toronto, Ontario) scored his first collegiate goal just 2:47 into the second period. Driscoll gave the Green and White a two-goal lead with his fourth of the season on the power play at 10:51, and Bonazza converted a Phillips assist at 15:05 of the second period to make it 4-1.

Driscoll notched his second goal of the night just 56 seconds into the third period off an assist from senior Troy Starrett (Bellingham, Mass.), but the Purple Knights countered with a pair of goals just 1:51 apart to cut the 5-1 deficit in half. Junior Jeremy Wong (Montreal, Quebec) netted his fifth goal of the season at 5:02, and sophomore Kevin Altidor (Montreal, Quebec) followed with his fifth of the season to make it 5-3 at the 6:53 mark.

The Green and White finished strong, though, scoring three times in the final 5:09 of the final period to seal the win. Tasiopoulos scored his team-high seventh goal of the season at 14:51, Searles notched the first of his career at 15:57, and Anderson tallied on the power play in the closing seconds to cap the scoring.

Murray finished the night with 29 saves, 14 of which came in the second period, while junior Dave Donzanti (West Chester, Pa.) stopped 38 shots for Saint Michael’s.

The Beavers held a 46-32 edge in shots on goal, and converted two of its three chances on the power play.

Babson is now off until next Friday when it opens a weekend series on the road with a 7 p.m. faceoff at New England College. The Purple Knights wrap up their weekend on the road with a 3 p.m. start tomorrow afternoon at UMass-Boston.

Frozen Fenway Recap: Norwich 4, Babson 1

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, MA – Norwich’s offense tallied three goals during the second period to earn their 11th victory of the season, as the Cadets defeated the Babson College Beavers at Fenway Park on Friday, 4-1.

“If you go to the net enough, you’re going to [score goals],” said Norwich Academy head coach Mike McShane.

The Cadets have now won six of their last eight meetings against the Beavers, (two of which were ties) as well as preserved their undefeated record, too.

“I’m really proud of how the kids played,” said Babson College head coach Jamie Rice. “They’re a good team, they’re well coached, they play really, but I’m proud of our guys.”

Norwich began the game by tallying four consecutive shots on Babson’s cage before the Beavers eventually netted their only strike of the contest when junior PT Donato whipped a backhanded pass from behind the Cadets net to freshman Andrew Bonazza for the score.

Sophomore Shane Gorman (two goals) evened the score six minutes later, when he deposited a rebound that bounced off Babson’s junior netminder Zeke Testa, (31 saves), which sparked the Norwich offense to compile three more goals during the second frame.

“I think [Gorman’s first goal] got the flow going to the game. It kind of woke us up, and got us into our normal playing style, and it really helped us out, and got us [an important victory],” said Norwich Academy junior Kyle Thomas.

Freshman Doug Lindensmith scored twice during the second period, while Gorman recorded his second goal of the contest, and fifth strike of the season.

“[My] first goal, I was trying to put it on net, hit the kids leg, and I just saw the upper corner, so I put it there, and I had the second goal, and I was just throwing it to the net, and just put it in,” said Gorman.

Babson’s offense attempted to rally during the final period, but their seven shots didn’t reach the back of sophomore Parker Carroll’s (18 saves) net, which allowed Norwich to preserve seventh conference win.

“It’s a big win against a good team,” said Gorman. “We’ve played them the last few years in the finals of our league championships, so it was a good first game of the season against them.”

 

Norwich Enjoyed Their Fenway Park Experience:

After Norwich secured their 11th win of the season, both Gorman and Thomas expressed their excitement toward playing hockey at Fenway Park.

“It was unbelievable,” said Gorman. “Unbelievable experience. Our fans coming out to support was great, [and] the ice, the open air was a lot of fun.”

“It was great. You couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said Thomas. “I think it was great playing conditions, and everyone loved it.”

 

Rice Content With Babson’s Effort

Despite sustaining their fourth conference loss of the season, Rice explained that this particular game could be somewhat of a turning point for the Beavers, who’ll only have to wait a day until they return to their home ice against St. Michael’s.

“I think we’re close to hitting a good turning point, and we’re going on a good roll,” said Rice. “I think I see signs of us playing really well, and that’ll hopefully help down the stretch.”

The coach also commented about his team playing at the America’s Most Beloved Ballpark by saying, “We showed up this morning at 6:45, and it was raining out, and when the lights were on, that was it. We had a practice, and the kids were just flying. The skates were eight inches off the ice, and then to come here this afternoon and to have it all sink in that you’re here, it’s emotional…This was just an unbelievable day, it was amazing.”