D3 New England Men’s Preseason Hockey Team

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By NoontimeSports.com 

For the first-time in NoontimeSports.com history, we are unveiling our initial Noontime Sports D3 New England Men’s Ice Hockey Preseason Team.

The 2016-17 season kicks-off tomorrow/this weekend and we wish all skaters and teams best of luck!

Forwards

Ryan Cole (Trinity)

Colin Larkin (UMass Boston)

Brady Fleurent (Univ. of New England)

Trevor Fleurent (Univ. of New England)

Sean Orlando (Trinity)

Anthony Sabitsky (Trinity)

Tim Searles (Babson)

Garrison Sanipass (UMass Boston)

Matt Volonnino (Plymouth State)

Tyler Young (Williams)

 

Defense

Mitch Barrington (Bowdoin)

Tyler Bishop (UMass Boston)

Ryan Dougherty (Endicott)

Carter Horwitz (Endicott)

Tucker Ross (Univ. of New England)

Brian Rowland (Norwich)

Ryan Sullivan (Wentworth)

Patrick Thornton (Castleton)

 

Goalies

Kevin Aldridge (Endicott)

Braeden Ostepchuk (Norwich)

Michael Pinios (Williams)

Blake Wojtala (Salve Regina)

Marcus Zelzer (Salem State)

Mass. College Hockey: Amherst Men’s Hockey Tops ‘Noontime Top 5’ Week 1

By NoontimeSports.com 

For the first-time in NoontimeSports.com history, we will be producing a weekly top-5 team poll that will highlight NCAA Division III hockey (men and women) in the state of Massachusetts.

With the 2015-16 season set to commence this week, we kick-off our weekly and first-ever poll with Amherst College, topping our Men’s Hockey ‘Top-5’ for Week One. Babson College, Williams College, Nichols College and UMass Boston rounded out the five-team poll with second, third, fourth and fifth placements, respectively, while Curry College and Endicott College each earned votes.

PROGRAM NOTE: As stated above, we will be posting our ‘Top-5’ poll every Tuesday throughout the season, however, we encourage you to engage with our weekly projections by tweeting your weekly picks to @NoontimeSports. 

Amherst Logo

Week One (Oct. 27 – Nov. 2):

1. Amherst College: The Jeffs came within one game of the NCAA Division III National Championship last season, but should be one of the top teams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), along with defending national champion Trinity College (Conn.). The Jeffs ranked second in the conference in defense and third in scoring offense last season. Sophomore David White returns after an impressive freshman year, which concluded with 20 goals and 15 assists. Amherst will commence its 2015-16 season on Friday, November 20 when they Hamilton College for a 7:00 p.m. face-off.

2. Babson College: The Beavers have turned the page from their overtime setback to Norwich University last season in the conference tournament championship. Babson returns senior goaltender Jamie Murray, who enjoyed a few days of N.H.L. experience in July at the Tampa Bay Lightning Development Camp, so expect that few-day period of summer hockey to be on display all season. Additionally, Babson returns senior Mike Vollmin (four goals, 19 assists) and junior Bill Seligman (15 goals, nine assists). Babson begins its season on Friday, October 30 against Hobart at home at 7:00 p.m.

3. Williams College: A one-goal setback in the conference championship to rival Amherst concluded Williams’ season last March. Seven months later, the Ephs will look to rebound, beginning their season on Saturday, November 21 against Bowdoin College in Williamstown at 7:00 p.m. Sophomore David Italiano returns after finishing second on the team with 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists).

4. Nichols College: Picked to capture the ECAC East crown, the Bison will kick-off their season on Friday, October 30 by traveling to Vermont to face Norwich for 7:00 p.m. face-off. First-year head coach Parker Burgess inherits an impressive unit, which features senior goaltender Alex Larson, who finished last season first in the nation in save percentage (.952). Additionally, the Bison’s offense will be fueled by seniors Tyler BeasleyFrank Butler and Paul Prescott 

5. UMass Boston: Following one of their most successful seasons in program history, the Beacons return to the ice with questions on offense, especially with graduation losses of Stephen Buco (16 goals, 32 assists) and Mike Kuhn (12 goals, 20 assists). Sophomore Colin Larkin finished fourth on the team in points (10 goals, 17 assists) and will be counted on to guide the offense, while senior Billy Faust and Zach Andrews split time between the pipes. UMass Boston begins play on Friday, October 30 when they host Curry College at 7:00 p.m.

Receiving Votes: Curry College and Endicott College

Noonan: It Should Be An Exciting Final Few Weeks Of D3 Hockey

By Matt Noonan 

A few intriguing questions and thoughts facing a few Division III hockey teams – both men and women – heading into the final few weeks of regular season.

* Let’s begin in the ECAC Northeast Conference where Suffolk University is currently in first place. The Rams, who ended the month of December on a three-game winning streak, have won three contests in January, but have also dropped three non-conference tilts to Stonehill College (4-2), Tufts University (7-4) and New England College (7-0). Yet, the Rams rebounded with back-to-back victories against Franklin Pierce (4-1) and Assumption College (6-5).

Suffolk returns to the ice this weekend for an important conference clash against Johnson and Wales – a team that is currently two spots below the Rams – on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Walter Brown Arena. The Wildcats fell to the Rams earlier this season, 2-1, but have won five of their last six contests.

* In the ECAC East Conference – men’s ice hockey – Norwich University currently sits atop the standings with a perfect record (12-0-0) in league play. Below is UMass Boston (10-2 in conference play) and Babson College (9-2-1). The Beacons and Beavers split their weekend series, but could meet again in their conference tournament’s quarterfinals, semifinals or finals.

UMass Boston has recently won five of their last six contests, including a 4-3 win on Saturday against the Beavers, which featured an overtime goal by Colin Larkin – his first collegiate game-winning strike. The Beacons are on the road this weekend, competing against Skidmore on Friday (7:00 p.m. start) and Castleton State on Saturday (4:00 p.m.).

* In the MASCAC, Westfield State and UMass Dartmouth are currently looking up at Plymouth State, which owns the top spot with a 7-2-1 conference record. The Panthers are coming off a 3-2 win over Worcester State on Sunday, which snapped their two-game skid against Fitchburg State and UMass Dartmouth.

Plymouth State, Westfield State and UMass Dartmouth may appear to be the favorites in the MASCAC, but don’t count out Fitchburg State and Salem State, two teams that have captured eight conference games, respectively.

* Let’s return to the ECAC East Conference – the women’s ice hockey conference – and put the spotlight on Holy Cross, which has won seven of nine conference games, and is 11-5-1 overall. The Crusaders, who commenced their season with four consecutive wins, have won two of their last three matchups, including a 5-0 win over New England College and 5-1 victory against Southern Maine.

Holy Cross recently skated against Amherst College – currently sixth in the latest D3Hockey.com Poll – but lost to the Jeffs, 3-1. The Crusaders, who fired eight shots in the opening period, held the Jeffs to just five shots, but none of those attempts landed in the net. Amherst eventually got on the board, scoring three goals during the final 40 minutes, while allowing the Crusaders to capitalize on the power play (Holy Cross finished the game 1-for-1 with an extra skater).

The game against Amherst proves that the Crusaders will be a tough challenge for their remaining opponents, including Norwich, which travels to Worcester on Saturday, February 21 for a 2:05 p.m. contest.

* Finally, let’s take a look at the NESCAC, starting with the men’s division. For the second straight season, Trinity (Conn.) is on a roll. They’ve won 10 straight contests and currently ranked third in the D3Hockey.com poll. Amherst is ranked 12th, Williams 14th, and Middlebury is receiving votes. If Amherst or Williams wants to advance to the NCAA Tournament, it will most likely entail defeating the Bantams.

Amherst and Trinity face-off on Friday, January 30 – the game will take place in Amherst. A win for the Lord Jeffs would provide them with momentum going forward. As for Williams, they travel to Connecticut College on Friday and Tufts University on Saturday.

In the women’s division, Amherst remains a spot below Middlebury, which has won seven of 10 conference tilts. The Jeffs, who are 6-0-2 in conference play, recently tied the Panthers in back-to-back contests by scores of 2-2 and 1-1. This weekend, the Jeffs will host Connecticut College in back-to-back home contests.

Mass. College Hockey: Late Goal Lifts UMass Boston Over Babson, 4-3

By NoontimeSports.com 

An overtime goal by freshman Colin Larkin – his first collegiate goal – lifted No. 10 UMass Boston over No. 8 Babson College 4-3, on Saturday afternoon in ECAC East conference action.

Courtesy of the UMass Boston Athletics Sports Information Department, here’s this afternoon’s release:

BOSTON, Mass.—Freshman Colin Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) scored his first collegiate game-winning goal 1:47 into overtime to lift #10 UMass Boston Men’s Hockey (15-3-1, 10-2-0) past #7/8 Babson College 4-3 Saturday afternoon at the Beacons Ice Arena.

Larkin scored the game-tying goal 7:05 into the third period and slipped a rebound past Babson All-American goalie Jamie Murray less than two minutes into overtime, to help the Beacons’ snap a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) against the Beavers.  The freshman forward finished the weekend with three goals and now has eight goals and 10 assists.

Senior forward Stephen Buco (North Providence, R.I.) finished with a goal and an assist and sophomore defenseman Brett Mason (Rowley, Mass.) recorded his second goal of the year, to help the Beacons jump Babson and move into second-place in the ECAC East Conference.

Junior goalie Billy Faust (Alta Loma, Calif.) went toe-to-toe with Murray all weekend long, as the junior stopped a season-high 41 shots in the victory. For the weekend, Faust went 1-0 by making 60 saves on 64 shots to improve to 6-0-1 on the season.

Bill Seligman led the Beavers with a goal and assist to cap off a 4-point weekend for the sophomore (three goals and one assist). Jimmy Magrath and Michael Phillips also scored for the Beavers who dropped their third contest in seven games, after starting the season 11-0-1.

Murray took the loss after allowing four or more goals for just the second time this season. The junior netminder stopped 34 of 48 shots to fall to 14-3-2 on the year.

Babson outshot the Beacons 44-38, after earning a 23-6 shot advantage in the first stanza.

A night after controlling the play in two of the three periods before ultimately falling short, UMass Boston overcame a sluggish first period to knock off the Beacons for the first time since 2013.

The Beavers jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 1:06 into the contest when Seligman slipped a shot through Faust’s five-hole. Jared Wiedemann forced a turnover at the Beacons’ blue line and dumped a shot off the boards behind Faust, only to have the puck slip out past Faust, to an on-rushing Seligman who scored his team-leading 11th goal of the season.

After giving up the early goal, UMass Boston upped the intensity, as the Beacons started increasing the physicality with each shift.

Faust kept the game at 1-0 just under five minutes in, when he robbed Billy Hall from just outside the crease. The junior weathered the storm in the first period, as he made 22 of his 41 stops in the opening 20 minutes.

UMass Boston evened the game at 1-1 at 1:34 of the second period. Sixteen seconds after Peter MacIntyre (Norfolk, Mass.) forced a Babson penalty, Buco ripped a shot from the blue line through traffic that found the twine. Sophomore defenseman Tyler Bishop (Ramsey, N.J.) picked up the first of his two assists on the play.

Mason gave the Beacons their first lead of the weekend at 4:07, when the sophomore’s hard shot from the point deflected off a defender and past Murray for a 2-1 advantage. Buco and Bishop were credited with assists.

The Beacons would carry their momentum throughout most of the period, before Babson equalized with just 3:04 to play in the second. Tim Searles and Jimmy Magrath came in on a 2-on-1 and Magrath sent a slap shot past Faust off of a perfect stretch pass from Searles. Jake Donahue also picked up an assist on the goal.

UMass Boston added to the Babson momentum when they were whistled for a pair of minor penalties bookending the intermission. The second of the two penalties led to a 5-on-3 Babson power-play for just 11 seconds. Phillips made sure the Beacons would pay for their mistakes, as he rifled home a shot just under the bar with two seconds to go on the 5-on-3 and 19 minutes remaining in regulation.

Babson handed the Beacons a power-play chance of their own at 4:53 of the period. UMass Boston nearly capitalized mid-way through the man-advantage, but Bishop’s shot caromed off the post. The Beacons finally came through 12 seconds after the power-play ended, off some tremendous play in front of the net.

Senior Dan Cornell (Abington, Mass.) sent a shot towards net that Larkin tipped on goal and it fell off the back of Murray and just shy of the goal line. Three Beacons swarmed around the puck before Larkin snuck the puck inside the near post. Junior Mike Miller (Wrentham, Mass.) recorded his first of two assists on the play.

Faust continued to stand on his head, as the junior rushed out of net and made a huge save to deny a wide-open Tim Searles’s with 6:55 to play.

Senior captain Mike Kuhn (Holbrook, Mass.) came within inches of giving the Beacons a late lead with a minute to play, but his shot dinged off the inside of the post, to the dismay of a rowdy Beacons Ice Arena.

For the period, UMass Boston outshot Babson 17-9.

The Beacons would carry the momentum of their late chances in the third into the extra session, as the Beacons’ top line of MacIntyre, Buco and Miller created three great chances on the second shift of the extra session.

After pinning the Beavers in their own end for over 30 seconds, Miller sent a hard shot from down low that Larkin tipped into Murray. With Murray struggling to find the puck, Larkin was able to tuck it past the goalie into the far side of the netting. Junior Jeremy Finger (Orlando, Fla.) also registered an assist on the play.

The Beacons will look to carry their momentum into next weekend, when the Beacons travel to Skidmore College Friday at 7 p.m. and Castleton State College Saturday at 4 p.m.