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.

Mass. College Hockey: No. 8 Babson Skates Past No. 10 UMass Boston, 4-2

By NoontimeSports.com

Courtesy of the Babson College Athletics communication office, here’s this evening’s release from the Beavers’ 4-2 win over UMass Boston:

BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Bill Seligman (Toronto, Ontario) had two goals and one assist, and junior goaltender Jamie Murray (Scituate, Mass.) stopped 39 shots as No. 7 USCHO.com/No. 8 D3hockey.com Babson College defeated No. 10 USCHO.com/No. 10 D3hockey.com UMass-Boston, 4-2, in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East men’s ice hockey action on Friday night at the Babson Skating Center.

With its second consecutive victory, Babson is now 14-2-2 overall and 9-1-1 in conference play. UMass-Boston, which saw its four-game winning streak come to an end, drops to 14-3-1 overall and 9-2-0 in the ECAC East.

Junior Max Franklin (Wrentham, Mass.) and sophomore Michael Phillips (Richmond Heights, Ohio) both scored for the Beavers, who struck for three goals in the span of 4:54 early in the second period to build a four-goal lead. Senior Joe DiPietro (Pembroke, Mass.), junior Mike Vollmin (Wilmington, N.C.), and sophomore Dan Casey (Chatham, N.J.) all had one assist apiece in the win.

Senior Stephen Buco (North Providence, R.I.) and first-year Mike Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) each scored once for the Beacons. Senior Mike Kuhn (Holbrook, Mass.) and junior Matt Lemire (Townsend, Mass.) both chipped in with an assist.

UMass-Boston held a 15-11 edge in shots over the opening 20 minutes, but the Green and White went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead on the strength of Seligman’s power play tally at the 9:41 mark. DiPietro ripped a slapshot from the point after a cross-ice feed from Vollmin, and Seligman redirected the puck past Beacons’ junior goaltender Zach Andrews (Carol Springs, Fla.) from the top of the crease for his ninth goal of the year.

Murray made eight of his 15 first-period saves over the first 6:19 of the stanza, and stopped three shots after Babson took an interference penalty at the 12:56 mark.

The Beavers took command of the game with a three-goal explosion early in the second period. Phillips converted a feed from Casey 2:39 after intermission when he beat Andrews from between the face-off circles for his ninth goal of the year, and fourth on the power play, to make it 2-0. Murray made four consecutive saves to keep UMass-Boston off the board, and Seligman made it a three-goal margin at the 5:41 mark with his team-leding 10th goal of the year. Franklin then extended the lead to 4-0 with his eighth goal of the year, beating Beacons’ junior goaltender Billy Faust (Alta Loma, Calif.), who came on in relief of Andrews, up high at 7:33.

Larkin got UMass-Boston on the board with his sixth tally of the year just 27 seconds later to cut its deficit to 4-1, but Murray stopped the final seven shots he faced in the period, and the Beavers’ defense blocked four others to take a three-goal lead into the intermission.

The Beacons made it a two-goal game when Lemire won a face-off back to Buco, who ripped a slapshot past Murray for his 12th goal of the year at 5:53 of the third period. The Green and White took then took a pair of penalties, but its defense stood tall protecting the lead, allowing just two shots on goal and blocking another to kill both penalties. Murray finished with 11 third-period saves for Babson, including a sprawling save with his shoulder on UMass-Boston junior Peter MacIntyre’s (Norfolk, Mass.) effort from the slot with 3:49 remaining.

Andrews stopped 11 shots and allowed three goals over the first 25:41 for the Beacons, while Faust made 19 saves over the final 33:33.

The Beavers, who were outshot 39-34 on the night, went 2-for-4 on the power play and killed off all four of the Beacons’ extra-man opportunities.

Babson and UMass-Boston will wrap up their home-and-home series on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Beacons Ice Arena.

GAME NOTES: Babson is now 41-13-6 all-time against UMass-Boston and has won five straight in the series going back to 2013…the Beavers are 12-0-1 when scoring first this season…Babson, which is now 10-0-1 at home this season, is unbeaten in its last 20 conference home games going back to the 2013 season…the Beavers are 13-1-1 on the year when allowing two goals or less…with a goal in the victory, Franklin (3-2-5) has at least one point in four of the last five games…Seligman’s three points matched his career high set back on January 9 in a 7-1 win over Saint Michael’s…Phillips (4-4-8) has contributed at least one point in four of the last five games and has scored on the power play in back-to-back contests…Vollmin, the nation’s top-scoring defenseman, has six assists over the last five games.

Mass. College Hockey: UMB’s MacIntyre Named AHCA All-American

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the UMass Boston sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release about Peter MacIntyre, who has been named an American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) All-American:

BOSTON, Mass.—A year after earning USCHO.com All-American honors as the national runner-up for Rookie of the Year award, sophomore forward Peter MacIntyre (Norfolk, Mass.) has been named an American Hockey Coaches Association (AHCA) All-American.

MacIntyre, who led the Beacons with 18 goals and 40 points, earned a spot on the Second Team for the Division III East Region. The Norfolk, Mass. native was one of five ECAC East players to be honored by the AHCA and joins former UMass Boston defenseman Rob Florentino (’13) and Bill Innocent (’92) as the only Beacons to be recognized in program history.

“It’s an incredible honor,” head coach Peter Belisle said. “I’m so happy for him, for our school and our program. It sheds light on what this hockey program is doing and he’s obviously a huge part of it, with this accolade he’s earned. He gives us some nice recognition-individually for him and as a group for us.”

“In my tenure, I know Rob [Florentino] was a Third Team last season and Peter as a sophomore is a Second. The sky is the limit for this young man.”

The sophomore forward was a leading force offensively for the Beacons all season long, leading the team to a 17-6-4 mark and a third-place finish in the ECAC East Conference Regular Season standings. He paced the Beacons with his 18 goals and 40 points, finished tied for first with his three game-winning tallies and second on the squad with his 22 assists.

“He can play it so many different ways,” said Belisle. “He’s a big man who can play physical, he’s very skilled and he’s got good speed. So he has the ability to dissect an opponent with his skill, with his speed, with his size or with his strength. He can impose his athleticism on another team and that’s what makes him so special.”

In the 26 contests he appeared in, MacIntyre registered at least one point in 17 games, at least two points in 12 contests and three or more points in nine different games. The former Boston Bandit finished the season fourth in the nation with his 1.54 points per game average, ninth in goals per game (.69) and tied for eighth in assists per game (.85).

He put together some of his best performances in the Beacons three tournaments, earning MVP honors in the P.A.L./Stovepipe Classic and 49th Annual Codfish Bowl Tournament, while adding two goals and two assists in the Beacons two ECAC East Tournament games. In total, MacIntyre recorded nine goals and three assists in the six tournament games UMass Boston played in.

MacIntyre played one of his best collegiate games under the lights at Fenway Park, recording two goals, including the game-winner in a 4-2 victory over Salem State as part of the Citi Frozen Fenway Series.

Mass. College Hockey: Rice, Babson Ready For NCAA Quarterfinals

By Matt Noonan 

BABSON PARK, Mass. – Sunday will be a special day for Babson College’s men’s ice hockey team, which will host its first NCAA quarterfinal matchup since 1992.

The Beavers will welcome Oswego State to the Babson Skating Center for a 3 p.m. face-off, with the winner advancing to next weekend’s semifinals.

“We’re thrilled to be in the tournament,” said Babson head coach Jamie Rice, who guided the Beavers to a 22-4-2 overall record this season, as well as their second straight ECAC East crown.

“To be one of the teams still standing is really – the best description is really proud.”

Babson has advanced to the NCAA tournament prior to this season, but hasn’t claimed some hardware since winning the inaugural Division 3 Championship in 1984 against Union College. Since that particular contest, the Beavers have come up short in either the semifinals, quarterfinals or first-round.

The Beavers appeared in the quarterfinals last season, but fell short to ECAC East rival Norwich University, 4-0. Babson could see the Cadets next weekend, but they’d have to win Sunday’s meeting against the Lakers followed by a semifinal contest against the winner of St. Thomas (Minn.) vs. Wisconsin Stevens-Point.

“We kind of have tunnel focus for this week,” said Rice when asked about the possibility of advancing to the semifinals.

Focusing on Sunday’s opponent will be the main objective for Rice’s squad this week. They’ll spend the next few days preparing for a team they haven’t seen this season, but did face in the 1990-91 NCAA tournament first-round. Babson won both contests before falling to UW-Stevens Point in the quarterfinals.

Rice does recall playing against Oswego State when he competed with the Beavers as a student-athlete, so he certainly knows the Lakers will be a tough challenge.

“(Oswego) has been very good, along with Plattsburgh State and the other SUNYAC (teams),” said Rice. “I probably have a little more familiarity with these programs, but they’re all in the national tournament, so they’re all really good.”

The Lakers earned a trip to Babson Park following a 4-3 first-round victory this afternoon against Bowdoin College. Prior to their meeting with the Polar Bears, Oswego State won five straight contests, including three tournament games against Fredonia, Geneseo and Plattsburgh State. The Lakers won each tournament contest by one goal.

Matt Galati leads the Lakers with 34 points. He’s recorded 23 goals and 11 assists this season, while Alex Botten has recorded 33 points (10 goals and 23 assists). Bobby Gertsakis leads the squad with 25 assists.

Matt Zawadzki, who picked up his 14th win between the pipes this afternoon, has logged a little over 1,000 minutes in net and has turned away 455 of 496 shots. He’s played in 21 games this season and has posted three shutouts.

Babson’s Mike Driscoll leads the Green and White in points (25). He and Nik Tasiopoulos each recorded a team-best 12 goals, while Michael Phillips finished with 16 assists, which is a team-high.

Jamie Murray, who was named the conference’s goaltender and player of the year, turned away 735 of 774 shots. He appeared in 27 games and owns a 21-4-2 record.

“We’ve played three really hard games leading into this tournament, but a hard season, too,” said Rice.

With a few months of competitive hockey in the books, along with some great memories on and off the ice, Rice is excited for his team to compete on Sunday afternoon. He certainly doesn’t want this season to conclude because he wants to return to the team’s home ice the following day for practice, an event he looks forward to each day.

“(Our team) is a family,” said Rice. “I love coming to the rink. My family and Babson hockey is the only two things that live in my world, but at the end of the day, I have joked and said, ‘I just want to have another week of practice’ because I enjoy being around these guys so much and they (provide me) with so much happiness and so much joy and it’s a thrill to do this with these kids.”

Monday’s practice time hasn’t been announced, but Rice will certainly let his team know when to report. In the meantime, practice will be held tomorrow and Saturday followed by a quarterfinal matchup in Babson’s backyard.

“Again, we’re thrilled to be in the tournament and to have the opportunity to keep playing and have a shot at what every team’s goal is from the start of their season,” said Rice. “It’s exciting to be sitting here and knowing that come (late Sunday afternoon) we’ll have the chance to be one of four teams left.”

Mass. College Hockey: UMass Boston Downs UNE In ECAC East Quarterfinals

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the UMass Boston sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the Beacons’ ECAC East quarterfinals contest this afternoon against University of New England:

BOSTON, Mass.–#14/16 UMass Boston men’s hockey scored two goals in the opening 2:33 to help head coach Peter Belisle earn his 100thcareer victory Saturday afternoon with a 7-2 victory over sixth-seeded University of New England (UNE) in the ECAC East Quarterfinals.

Belisle, the all-time winningest head coach in program history, moved to 100-95-16 with the victory and 5-7 all-time in ECAC East Tournament games.  With the win, third-seed UMass Boston moves to 17-5-4 and advances to next Saturday’s ECAC East Semifinals, with the matchup still to be determined.

The University of New England wraps up their season with the best record in program history at 10-15-1.

All four lines scored in the win for the Beacons led by two goals from junior forward Nathan Milam (Westland, Mich.). Senior Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, N.J.) added a goal and an assist to move into sole possession of fifth-place in program-history with 125 career points. Daniel also tied Joe Bulens (’85) for second-place all-time in career games played, as he suited up for the 103rd time in his career.

Sophomore Peter MacIntyre (Norfolk, Mass.) added to his team-leading goals and points total with a goal and two assists, while junior Stephen Buco (North Providence, R.I.) picked up two assists, to notch his fourth-straight multi-point contest.

In all six Beacons found the back of the net and nine players recorded points for UMass Boston, which advances to the ECAC East Semifinals in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 08-09 campaign.

Sophomore netminder Billy Faust (Alta Loma, Calif.) stopped 35 of 37 shots to help the Beacons move to 14-0-1 all-time against the Nor’Easters.

Jared Melman scored his team-leading 16th tally for the visitors, while Zeth Zielinski added the second tally for UNE. Junior goalie Colby Drost stopped 26 of 33 shots through the first 45 minutes, before being replaced by Craig Ryan who stopped all six shots he saw.

Junior defenseman Dan Cornell (Abington, Mass.) put the Beacons on the board just 37 seconds into the contest, when he rifled home a shot from the blue line, as the fans were still just barely filing into their seats.

The Beacons pushed the lead to 2-0 less than two minutes later, when Milam struck for the Beacons’ first power-play goal of the night, just five seconds into the man-advantage. Milam won the faceoff to his right where MacIntyre picked up the puck and sent it to Buco at the blue line, Buco sent a laser towards net that Drost knocked down, but Milam corralled the rebound and sent a back-hand shot just inside the near post.

UMass Boston tacked on a third goal at 7:50 of the period, when MacIntyre struck off a feed from Grinhaus. MacIntyre forced a UNE turnover at the blue line and sent a pass to Grinhaus, who gave it right back to MacIntyre. The First Team All-Conference selection proceeded to skate in on net and carry out a series of moves, before roofing home a shot short-side.

The Nor’Easters responded 10 minutes later when Melman redirected Patrick Borer’s slap-shot past Faust. With Cody Dixon (Hales Corners, Wisc.) in the box for the Beacons, Tom Gildersleeve sent a pass to the point for Borer, who rocketed a shot towards net and Melman tipped it high over Faust’s shoulder, to make it a 3-1 game heading into the first intermission.

Daniel gave the Beacons back a three-goal lead 12:53 into the second period after a series of nifty tic-tac toe passes. MacIntyre and Buco went back-and-forth before finding Daniel out in front, and the senior captain spun around and sent a hard shot over Drost’s pads for a 4-1 lead.

The Beacons added to their lead late in the period on an Albee Daley (Averill Park, N.Y.) short-handed tally. The freshman tipped a UNE pass out of the zone and Connor McStravick (Philadelphia, Pa.) tracked it down, just ahead of a Nor’Easter defender. With Daley racing towards net, McStravick sent it ahead, and Daley buried a shot over Drost’s shoulder to give UMass Boston a 5-1 edge at the 2:19 mark.

Zielinski cut the deficit back to three just 49 seconds into the third, when he knocked a rebound past Faust, just seconds after a UMass Boston penalty expired.

The momentum wouldn’t last long for the Nor’Easters, as Milam answered back with his second power-play tally of the night a minute and two seconds later. Milam once again found himself in the right spot, as Daniel’s initial shot was stopped, but Milam found the rebound in the crease and poked it home for his career-best 12th marker.

Frankie DeAugustine (Pittsburgh, Pa.) capped off the scoring at the 4:50 mark with an unassisted tally. The sophomore forward intercepted a Nor’Easters pass and sent his initial offering off the crossbar, before picking up his own rebound and pinging a shot off of Drost and in.

Mass. College Lax: Breaking Down The D3 Regional Rankings (Week One)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The NCAA recently released its first set of regional rankings this week for both men and women. Below are the local squads that earned spots as of Tuesday, February 18.

Men’s Ice Hockey: 

* Babson College, Williams College and UMass Boston each earned spots on the East Region ranking. The Beavers check in as the fourth best team in the region with an overall mark of 19-4-2. Babson will be spotted on the ice this weekend when they host Southern Maine on Saturday, February 22 in the opening round of the ECAC East tournament.

* Williams, which was ranked sixth, is 13-6-3 overall and 9-4-3 in NESCAC play. The Ephs are currently in third place in the conference, two spots behind Trinity (Conn.) and one spot below archival Amherst College. Williams and Amherst will face-off on Sunday, February 23 at 3 p.m. in Williamstown. However, before the rivals meet, the Ephs will host Hamilton on Saturday at 7 p.m.

* Finally, UMass Boston earned the eighth and final spot in the ranking with an overall mark of 16-5-4. The Beacons will begin ECAC East tournament play tomorrow afternoon when they host University of New England at 3 p.m. in the Clark Athletic Center.

Women’s Ice Hockey: 

* Amherst was the lone squad from the Bay State, which earned a spot, as the Lord Jeffs checked in as the fifth best team. Amherst is currently second in the NESCAC with an overall mark of 12-5-5 and 8-2-4 conference record. They’ll be facing-off against Bowdoin College this evening (Feb. 21) and tomorrow afternoon. The Polar Bears are currently tied for fourth in the conference with Trinity (Conn.) and Wesleyan.