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The Mass Media

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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

UMass Boston’s men’s hockey sparks triple win streak

Image from the previous men’s hockey game. Photo courtesy of Beacons Athletics.

The UMass Boston men’s hockey team seems to be getting hot at just the right time, as they’ve claimed a trio of victories against the New England College Pilgrims, the Southern Maine University Huskies, and the Babson—12th-ranked—Beavers (1). With about two weeks left in the season, a strong finish could be exactly what the Beacons need to make some noise in the upcoming New England Hockey Conference tournament.

In their bout against the Pilgrims, it did not take long for the Beacons to get on the scoreboard. In just over a minute and a half of play, junior forward Corey Clifton’s shot ricocheted off Pilgrims’ goalie Spencer Kozlowski toward freshman forward Mike Manzo. Manzo slapped the puck into the net for his fourth goal on the season, giving the Beacons an early 1–0 lead (2).

The second period is where the game became one-sided for the Beacons. Junior forward Evan Googins scored off an assist from senior forward Dakota Concannon (2), and seven minutes later, sophomore defender Pat Keegan was assisted by freshman forward Jazz Krivtsov on the goal that ultimately put the game out of reach (2).

The final score ended up being 3–1 after a garbage time goal from Pilgrims’ forward Anthony Cinato spoiled the Beacons’ shutout. The win was impressive nonetheless, but perhaps the most impressive part of the victory was that it was the debut of freshman transfer goalie Darius Bell. Bell had a sensational start as a member of the Beacons, as he saved 29 of the 30 shots he faced (2).

When the Huskies came to town, the first period was dominated by both goalies. UMass Boston’s senior goalie Sam Best saved nine shots, while sophomore Huskies’ goalie Mason Palmer saved 19. The second period, however, was an entirely different story. Both teams scored within two minutes of each other. Huskies’ freshman defender Kadin Ilott assisted sophomore forward Mathieu Sabourin, while the Beacons’ Googins assisted Concannon to tie the game at one apiece (3).

The period closed with a Clifton goal that put the Beacons ahead 2–1 going into the final period. Almost instantly, junior forward Jacob Banks extended the Beacons’ lead to two. Ilot managed to score another goal, but the Beacons hung on to their lead and won 3–2. Overall, their match against Southern Maine was a very convincing win, and the Beacons outshooting the Huskies 47–20 proved just that (3).

However, the Beacons’ most impressive win came against the 12th-ranked Babson Beavers. The Beavers at the time sat at 12–6–2, as opposed to the Beacons’ mediocre 8–10. The Beacons took the initial lead halfway into the first period, with Banks hitting Krivtsov on a pass for the score (4).

It would not be until the end of the second period before another shot hit the back of the net, and again, it was by the Beacons. Sophomore forward Ty Mathews found fellow sophomore forward Kolye Bankauskas to give the Beacons a 2–0 lead. The Beavers were able to respond halfway through the third, as freshman defender Nolan Dion spotted junior forward Thomas Kramer, which cut the Beacon lead to one (4).

It turned out to be a stressful final 10 minutes for both teams, as the Beavers found themselves on a power play advantage on four different occasions. Despite this, they could not finish the job. Another Bankauskas goal—this time an empty netter—put the dagger in the upset, and the Beacons secured a 3–1 win over one of the best teams in the nation (4).

If there’s anything to gather from this game, it’s that the Beacons struck gold landing Darius Bell. Bell stopped 27 shots in the match against the Beavers and hasn’t allowed more than one goal in either of his two starts. The Beacons’ midseason turnaround, and their win against Babson especially, is sure to raise the eyebrows of other NEHC teams, as they now know UMass Boston is not to be counted out.

  1. 2022-23 Men’s Ice Hockey Schedule – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

  2. Power Play Sets Pace For Men’s Ice Hockey in Road Win Against New England College – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

  3. Welcome Back to the Barry! Men’s Ice Hockey Picks Up Big Conference Win Over Southern Maine – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Men’s Ice Hockey Upsets No. 12 Babson College – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

About the Contributor
Liam Crampton, Sports Writer