New England College Hockey: Predicting D3 Contests At Frozen Fenway

Will UMass Boston men's ice compete for a second time in program history at Frozen Fenway?  (Photo Credit: UMass Boston)

Will UMass Boston men’s ice compete for a second time in program history at Frozen Fenway? (Photo Credit: UMass Boston)

By Matt Noonan 

A few thoughts – or ideas – on possible Division III hockey contests that could take place in January (2017) at Frozen Fenway …

* I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another round of Babson College and Norwich University. Both teams competed at the historic ballpark in 2012 and 2014, and this game is always a ‘must-see’ contest. Plus, Babson head coach Jamie Rice is an avid Red Sox fan, so you know he would love to lead his Beavers out of the Boston dugout.

* UMass Boston is another team that should skate at the historic ballpark – the Beacons made their Frozen Fenway debut two years ago when they competed against Salem State. Perhaps we see round two of Vikings-Beacons or maybe UMass Boston skates against Suffolk University or Wentworth Institute of Technology? I am sure the Rams or Leopards would love an opportunity to play a game at Fenway Park.

* It would be great to see at least one – perhaps two – women’s Division III games. Why not pit Amherst College against Middlebury College or have Endicott College take on Plymouth State? If Norwich men’s ice hockey competes against Babson, then invite the women’s team to play either before or after against Castleton State.

* A pair of teams represented the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) two years ago with Williams College skating against Trinity College. There should definitely be a NESCAC game at Fenway – again, it could be a men or women’s contest.

* How about a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) game – heck, it is the first year the conference is sponsoring hockey, so why not? Maybe Curry College plays Becker College or Endicott College faces-off against Salve Regina?

New England College Hockey: Frozen Fenway Returns In 2017

Frozen Fenway will return in January 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

Frozen Fenway will return in January 2017. (PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The City of Boston and Fenway Sports Management (FSM) announced earlier today that Fenway Park would become Frozen Fenway this January, beginning Wednesday, January 4, 2017. Frozen Fenway will conclude Monday, January 16, 2017 and will feature a pair of Hockey East double-headers on January 7 and 14, along with additional college and high school hockey games.

Frozen Fenway will also feature a public skating day for City of Boston residents, too.

“Outdoor hockey is quickly becoming a staple on Boston’s winter sports calendar and we look forward to joining with the Hockey East and the City of Boston to build on that tradition by bringing some of the most accomplished and talented collegiate teams in the country to compete on the ice at Fenway Park,” Boston Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said in a statement.

As noted in the Hockey East release, Boston University will face-off against University of Massachusetts, while Boston College takes on Providence College – both contests will take place Saturday, January 7. One week later – Saturday, January 14, 2017 – Northeastern University will skate against University of New Hampshire, while University of Maine competes against University of Connecticut.

“Hockey East and our schools could not be more excited to take the ice once again at Fenway Park,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna said in the conference release. “Once Frozen Fenway 2017 is complete all twelve Hockey East schools will have played an outdoor game at Fenway Park, creating once-in-a-lifetime memories for the players, students, alumni and fans.”

Additional details, including other contests and events will be announced in the coming months. Fans can visit RedSox.com for more information on Frozen Fenway.

Mass. College Hockey: UMass Boston Behind The Scenes At Frozen Fenway (VIDEO)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The UMass Boston men’s ice hockey team captured a 4-2 win over Salem State on Tuesday at Frozen Fenway. The Beacons, who’re now 10-1-2 overall, will look to build on their current momentum when they host Norwich University tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.

Earlier today, the UMass Boston Athletic Department posted a behind the scenes video of Tuesday’s game, which was published to their YouTube channel. We’ve provided the video below, which was produced by UMass Boston’s Andy Bukuras.

Mass. College Hockey: UMass Boston Tops Salem State At Frozen Fenway

UMass Boston's men's ice hockey team defeated Salem State at Frozen Fenway this afternoon, 4-2. (Photo Credit: UMass Boston)

UMass Boston’s men’s ice hockey team defeated Salem State at Frozen Fenway this afternoon, 4-2. (Photo Credit: UMass Boston)

By NoontimeSports.com

Courtesy of the UMass Boston sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about the men’s ice hockey team, which defeated Salem State at Frozen Fenway this afternoon, 4-2:

FENWAY PARK, Mass.—Peter MacIntyre (Norfolk, Mass.) second tally of the evening proved to be just enough, as #15 UMass Boston men’s hockey (10-1-2) downed Salem State University (7-5) 4-2 Tuesday afternoon as part of the Citi Frozen Fenway event.

The Beacons and Vikings, both playing for the first time at Fenway Park, met for the first time since 2009, renewing their former ECAC East rivalry. With the win, UMass Boston earned their first victory over the Vikings since 1999 and moved to 11-32-1 all-time against Salem State.

MacIntyre led UMass Boston with two goals on the night to help the Beacons match their longest unbeaten streak in program-history at 11 games (9-0-2). The streak matches the 1981-82 team’s 11-0 stretch from December 5, 1981 to January 30, 1982.

Kit Sitterley (Mooresville, N.C.) recorded the Beacons’ second tally of the night, while Connor McStravick (Philadelphia, Pa.) put the game away with an empty-net goal with 8.7 seconds remaining.

Sophomore goalie Zach Andrews (Coral Springs, Fla.) shined in net for UMass Boston all night long, making 34 saves on 36 shots. The Florida native was especially key in the first period where he stopped all 15 shots he faced, as the Beacons got off to an extremely slow start.

Senior Eric Defelice and Chris Mastropietro recorded Salem State’s two markers, with both goals coming in the second period. In net, Ryan Sutliffe posted 29 saves on 33 shots, before being pulled with 26 seconds in the contest.

Facing temperatures in the low teens with the wind chill well below zero, the Beacons and Vikings struggled to get anything going in the first stanza, as the two teams slowly adjusted to the ice snow and bouncing pucks.

Salem State created the better end of the chances throughout the first 15 minutes, with Andrews diving all over the crease to keep the Vikings off the board.

Sophomore Mike Miller (Wrentham, Mass.) began the shift in momentum for the Beacons when he rifled a shot past Sutliffe that rang off the post, before drawing the first penalty of the game against either team moments later.

While the Beacons failed to take advantage of the power-play, they carried the momentum into the second period.

MacIntyre lit the lamp at 2:44 of the second period when he finished with a nifty shot to the far post to beat Sutliffe on a 2-on-1 rush. The reigning ECAC East Rookie of the Year swiped the puck away from Gabriel Cromp who was winding up for a slap-shot from the point and went the other way with senior captain Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, N.J.). After showing pass the entire rush, MacIntyre sent a laser just pass Sutliffe’s blocker for a 1-0 Beacons advantage.

The lead wouldn’t last long though, as Defelice’s goal at 6:32 evened the game at 1. The senior forward sent a hard shot from just inside the Beacons’ blue line, that Andrews lost in Fenway’s red seats to make it 1-1.

UMass Boston would grab the lead back at 2-1 behind a terrific individual effort from Sitterley. The sophomore forward’s initial wrap-around attempt was denied by Sutliffe, but when the referees didn’t immediately give the goalie the whistle for a stoppage, Sitterley’s second stab at the puck slid just over the line for a goal at 10:41.

Mastropietro knotted the scoring at 15:58 on another goal that Andrews could do little about. Skating with their third power-play chance of the game, Mastropietro received passes from Brandon Platt and Cameron Banwell, before sending a low shot that skipped off a Beacons’ defenseman’s stick and over Andrews glove for a 2-2 tie.

That set up a dramatic third period with both teams’ legs beginning to lag. UMass Boston took advantage of the wind to begin the period as Daniel set up MacIntyre for a nifty goal. The Beacons’ senior captain took the puck from behind the net and sent a backhand pass that deflected off a defenseman’s stick, before MacIntyre could bat it home, just over Sutliffe’s shoulder.

Salem State would try everything they could to even the score, but UMass Boston’s defenseman stood strong, especially during a penalty-kill with under seven minutes to go.

McStravick put any Vikings’ comeback hope to an end with 8.7 seconds to go, when the scrappy fourth-liner sent a back-hand from just over his blue line into the net, while absorbing a huge hit.

UMass Boston will continue their thrilling start to 2014 when they host #5 Norwich University Friday night in ECAC East play.

Frozen Fenway: Babson Is Primed For ECAC East Tilt With Norwich

By Matt Noonan 

For the second time in two seasons, Jamie Rice will lead Babson’s men’s ice hockey team into Fenway Park on Thursday evening to face-off against ECAC East rival Norwich University.

The Beavers and Cadets met two years ago at Frozen Fenway with Norwich claiming a 4-1 victory.

This time around, both squads will take the ice as ranked units, according to the latest D3Hockey.com poll. Norwich is currently the fifth best team in the country, while Babson is ranked sixth.

Yet, rankings and records aside, Rice is just excited to return to the hallowed grounds where he attended a few Red Sox playoff games last fall.

“We’re just really thankful to the Red Sox and sports management and all the people that made this a reality for us and Norwich,” said Rice. “Coming off a World Series championship, I think the stage is a little bigger.

“Our kids are excited, the families (are getting) excited, but as a program, as a college and as an athletic department, people are talking about it and that’s a good thing.”

Frozen Fenway, which returned for the second time in two years, commenced at the end of December with an Atlantic Hockey matchup between Bentley University and Holy Cross. Since then, the historic ballpark has hosted a variety of college and high school contests over the past few days, including a Hockey East double-header, which featured Merrimack vs. Providence and Boston College vs. Notre Dame.

This year’s Frozen Fenway, though, does features two additional Division 3 matches with UMass Boston taking on Salem State and Williams battling Trinity.

“It’s tremendous,” Rice said when asked about having a few Division 3 contests at Fenway. “I think it’s great for Division 3 hockey and I think it’s great exposure. It does give us an opportunity to kind of be the big boys.”

The Beavers enter Thursday’s contest having won back-to-back games last week over Colby College and Salem State. Babson is currently in second place in their conference and has won 11 of 13 contests this season, including five ECAC East tilts.

Last season, Babson defeated Norwich twice. The Beavers edged the Cadets in their first meeting, 4-1, before earning their second win in the conference championship. Norwich, however, did defeat Babson in the NCAA quarterfinals, 4-0.

On Monday, sophomore netminder Jamie Murray was named the ECAC East ice hockey goalie of the week for stopping 45 of 48 shots in two contests. Senior co-captain Troy Starrett was also honored by being named to the Weekly Honor Roll, and since returning to the lineup, the Bellingham native has notched two goals and three assists.

While Thursday’s game will indeed count in the conference and overall standings, Rice expects his team to not only continue their solid play, but also embrace the opportunity.

“For our kids to be able to play in this game (is) a lifetime memory,” said Rice. “(My players) will go to Fenway for the rest of their lives and say, ‘I played there.’”

Frozen Fenway: BC’s Jerry York Reflects On His Team’s Outdoor Win

By Matt Noonan 

BOSTON, Mass. – For the third time in his coaching career, Boston College head coach Jerry York stood between third and second base in Fenway Park’s infield and coached his Alma mater’s hockey team against rival Notre Dame. And similar to his team’s last visit to the historic ballpark in 2012, the Eagles managed to escape the hallowed grounds with a one-goal victory.

BC's Jerry York guided his Eagles to a 4-3 win over Notre Dame on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Boston College Athletics)

BC’s Jerry York guided his Eagles to a 4-3 win over Notre Dame on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Boston College Athletics)

After the game concluded, York spoke with the media about the opportunity to participate in outdoor games.

“I thought (during) the summer, ‘Gee, we’re going to have another round,’ but it seems like the players were so excited. The NHL, beside the Winter Classic, has five more (outdoor games this season, which is) a total of six this year, but ours is different because it has always been in the same place the entire time,” said York, who is now 2-1 at Fenway Park.

“(In the NHL), they’re going to Los Angles (or) Ann Arbor, so they haven’t hosted before, but I think its pretty exciting and some how I would like to get the ice as if it were (using) indoor ice and that would be perfect.”