50°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s Hockey Season Gets Underway

Provided+by+Beacons+Athletics%0A

Provided by Beacons Athletics

This upcoming Men’s hockey season is shaping up to be one of the team’s best. With the addition of fifteen freshman, some of whom received exceptional awards, the Beacons have become younger, faster, and better able to contend in one of the toughest conference in all of college hockey, the ECAC. So many freshmen will help the team filing some of the holes left by seniors who graduated, including standout goalie Kevin Bendel and leading scorer Anthony Fitti. As this young talent is coached up by veteran coach Peter Belisle, the increase in overall skill will hopefully attract other promising players to UMass Boston, ensuring the team’s future success.  

Belisle said that the incoming freshmen have the most talent of any recruiting class he has seen in his seven years at UMass Boston.  Belisle may be referring to his new goalie,  Jack Andrews, who was playoff MVP of his junior league, or Peter MacIntyre, who was a leading scorer and All-Star for the EJHL’s Boston Bandits.  Both players performed exceptionally in high school and in juniors, and we can expect them to do the same here at UMass Boston. Along with the outstanding achievements of these two, many of the other additions to the team are quite promising and will make great additions to the squad.  

Apart from this youth, the team’s older defensive core has remained intact, despite the loss of some distinguished players.  Coach Belisle has great faith in his team’s defense, saying that defense wins championships.  The one thing that is questionable is the goaltending, considering the loss of Kevin Bendel, who graduated.  This is a significant loss to the team,  as the club is built around great play in goal. However, Belisle has stated that he intends to rebuild his team from the goalie out, meaning that the team’s true focus is defense. 

The team’s captain Tim Niedzielak, who is truly a model defenseman, reflects this preference for defense.  If Niedzielak is able to lead his team’s defense to success, they will be able to compete in the toughest conference in all of D3. He is coming off a fantastic 2011 campaign in which he had 18 and assisted on 3 goals. The team did suffer a huge loss over the offseason when freshman phenom Corey Chakeen, who scored eight goals last year, left the team for personal reasons. 

With all of this young talent under an experienced coach, the Beacons are sure to contend for the conference crown this season.  The head coach himself stated, “We have a chance to surprise a few people and win the championship this year.”  

The guys certainly got off to a solid start this season with a 4-1 win at New England college. Their home opener was a wild one against St. Anselm. After a hard fought three periods, they lost in overtime 5-4. Travis Daniel, Max Reavis, and Mike DeGrazia share the early season lead with two goals a piece, while freshman goalie Zach Andrews has gotten the nod in the first two games. To follow the guys, go to beaconsathletics.com.