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The Mass Media

Men’s hockey ends with disappointing loss to Babson

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Womens Hockey Home game from the past weekend. Image courtesy of Beacon Athletics. 

Men’s hockey’s inconsistencies have officially been exercised after the Beacons hit the weight room for the first time this off-season. Granted, it’s the umpteenth time that the Beacons have tried to exercise their demons, but after the Babson College Beavers beamed five shots past Beacons goaltender Sam Best, UMass Boston now has until October to work on what went wrong throughout the season.
The Beacons went into their matchup against Babson having lost two in a row with a 2–1 overtime loss to Skidmore College and a 4–1 loss to Castleton University on Senior Night (1). Though they had the chance to strike in both games with good offensive pressure and better defensive play than in previous weeks, UMass Boston had no momentum to carry into their game against Babson. Thus, the Beacons were shelled from the start, and it seemed like they were no match for the Beavers, who came much more prepared and defeated the Beacons 3–1 on Jan. 21.
UMass Boston had the chance to not face the Beavers in the first round of the New England Hockey Conference tournament. Had they won their last two games, the Beacons may still be in the tournament now. Both games were winnable for them; their 2–1 overtime loss against Skidmore bore witness to a team beating themselves more than the opponent, as excessive penalties and a lack of help for goaltender Sam Best proved costly. UMass Boston would end up with five penalties in the game, and though they did an excellent job on the penalty kill by going 5-for-5, the team would give up a tying goal with less than 15 minutes left in the third period (2).
The Beacons nearly escaped the game with a win in overtime after forward Evan Googins passed to forward Kolye Bankauskas—who scored the lone goal for the Beacons earlier—but a spectacular save by Skidmore goalie Blaine Moore kept the game even. Skidmore would go on to score the game-winner off a face-off just a minute and a half later, ending a game that was heavily controlled by the Thoroughbreds, who outshot the Beacons 36–29 and had 10 minutes worth of power play time granted to them (2). Nonetheless, the loss guaranteed an away game for the Beacons in the NEHC tournament, and the hope to end the regular season on a high note was on men’s hockey’s mind come Senior Night.
The game against Castleton had a storybook ending written all over it. The Beacons had gone 15–0–3 in their previous 18 games against the Trojans, but this time around, the Trojans were a wagon and not a horse. Despite outshooting the Trojans 41–27 and scoring within the first three minutes of the game on forward Jacob Banks’ wrister, the Beacons could not stop the Trojans on the penalty kill and lost 4–1.

The Trojans would score two of their four unanswered goals in the second period, and subsequently iced the game with a goal halfway through the third period before adding a cherry on top with an empty netter (3). Two of the goals scored by Castleton were on the power play, and to end off the regular season, the Beacons had to ensure they improved their penalty kill for the NEHC tournament.
The Beacons’ NEHC tournament quarterfinal game against Babson is one they’ll want to put on the back burner and move on from. Men’s hockey was unable to ride the wave of momentum from their upset win over the Beavers and were instead blown out of the water with a 5–1 loss that eliminated them from the tournament (4). The game was within reach for the Beacons after two periods; a Bankauskas breakaway goal cut the lead in half at 2–1. However, three unanswered goals in the final frame sealed the game—and the season— for men’s hockey.

The Beacons were outshot 37–22 and went 0–for–3 on the powerplay, giving up a powerplay goal to the Beavers in the final period as well. There were little to no positives—aside from beating the Beavers in the face off category—for the Beacons in their game against Babson, and in the blink of an eye, the season was over.
Another season has been written in the books for men’s hockey, and though this year saw many ups and downs, the team has a lot to be proud of for their mid-season heroics and efforts. Moving forward, the team can look forward to an offseason that focuses on bettering the inconsistencies they held this past season. Nevertheless, the Beacons were able to recover from their horrid 2–8 record and fought back for the sixth seed in the NEHC tournament, which is a job well done. Congratulations to men’s hockey on a terrific turnaround, and best of luck moving forward into the next season!

  1. https://www.beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-ice-hockey/schedule

  2. https://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/10/mens-ice-hockey-falls-at-home-to-skidmore-college-guaranteed-to-play-on-road-in-nehc-quarterfinals.aspx

  3. https://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/11/mens-ice-hockey-falls-on-senior-day-to-castleton-university.aspx

  4. https://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/18/mens-ice-hockey-3-babson-too-much-for-6-mens-hockey-in-nehc-tournament.aspx

About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor