Tied Them Up

Tied Them Up

Ryan Thomas

It has been almost seven years since UMass Boston took a point away from a game that involved Babson College. On this night, history finally repeated itself.

UMass Boston played the ninth-best team in Division III hockey like they themselves were tenth, skating to one of the most exciting 1-1 ties ever seen in the college ranks.

The only two goals of the game were condensed into the final 2:32 of the game, with UMass Boston’s Kris Kranzky netting his first goal of the season in his second game back from a league-sanctioned six-game suspension. The goal gave the Beacons a 1-0 lead for the time being. “It was awesome,” Kranzky said after game. “I got chills because the whole place was going crazy.”

With only 17 seconds left in regulation and their goalie on the bench for an extra skater, Babson’s JT Balben scored on a tough-angle shot to tie the game. Beacons forward Rocco Dabecco explained how Balben was able to get the puck past his goaltender. “He had enough patience to hold it and put it up top,” said Dabecco.

“It’s like having a hole card and folding without using it,” said Jamie Rice, Babson’s coach about having the extra skater available. “We had the puck 200 feet from our own goal, so I decided that was the right time [to pull him for the extra skater].”

For the majority of the game, Babson College and UMass Boston exchanged blows like two heavyweights slugging it out in the ring. All three periods were filled with crisp, physical hockey. Both the Beacons and the Beavers traded scoring chances like left hooks, taking them in stride and returning the favor.

“I thought we out-chanced them on scoring chances in the first period,” said Beacons coach Peter Belisle. “I thought they out-chanced us in the second period, and the third was up and down. I’m proud of the kids. They played their butts off for three periods.”

Early in the third period the Beacons had two penalty kills, one at the 2:53 mark and another 6:36 into the period. On the first penalty kill, the Beavers had a chance to score, but drove the puck wide right past goalie Ryan Donovan. On Babson’s second power play of the period, the Beacons bent, but didn’t break, with help from Donovan, who made three key saves to preserve the tie. “[Donovan is] the back bone of our team,” expressed Belisle. “He’s the general back there.”

After the game, Rice wanted to tell the fans something. “People got their money’s worth [tonight],” he said. “Whatever you charge for admission here, they got their money’s worth.”