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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston Men’s Hockey Beats EHL All-Stars

The University of Massachusetts Boston men’s hockey team took to the ice on Oct. 21 and played the Eastern Hockey League (EHL) All-Stars, a Tier III junior ice hockey league two tiers below the United States Hockey League, the country’s top league.
Consisting of 16 teams, including five in Massachusetts, it serves as a vital pipeline for aspiring young talent to develop their skills for collegiate and professional hockey. The Beacons have benefited from their talent pool, recruiting seven current players from the EHL, including junior defenseman Drew Gannon and sophomore goalie Jordan Bustard. While this was only an exhibition, the two teams competed like they were in a playoff game, setting the tone for an exciting afternoon.
The Beacons peppered Nolan Egbert of the Boston Junior Rangers with 22 shots in the first period, but it was the All-Stars that got on the scoreboard first. Jake Fuss slid a pass from behind the net and past Bustard to grab the early lead. The Beacons tied it up later in the period, however, courtesy of a power-play strike from Zach Bross—a wrist shot from the left face off circle in the attacking zone.
The All-Stars’ goaltenders held firm, first from Egbert, then Mike Paglucca at the midway point of the second period, despite plenty of scoring chances and quality shots from the Beacons. At this point, the score was 1-1. Both goalies combined made 56 saves and kept the game close all the way to the end.
Ultimately, though, patience would pay off for the Beacons at 13:19 of the second period when Nolan Redler pounded home the go-ahead goal off of a rebound as a scrum happened in the All-Stars’ crease. Despite out-shooting the All-Stars 59-14 for the entire game, the Beacons couldn’t secure this game until an empty net tally from Redler in the final period. This proved to be the difference as the game-winner, with a goal from the All Stars’ Nick Grinvalds in the last five seconds of the game capping off the scoring in a 3-2 Beacons victory.
Redler was the game’s first star, figuring in on all three Beacon goals, assisting on the first one, and scoring the final two. Egbert earned the second star and was very deserving at that, stopping 36 shots out of the 37 he faced before switching with Paglucca. Drew Gannon was the third star with two assists, though the third star could go for Paglucca as well, who stopped 20 of 21 shots.
If this tells anything, then the All-Stars’ best came to play their best game, and the Beacons responded in the most mature and patient way that ultimately earned them the win. It will help them in multiple ways as the season officially starts, particularly as they compete in games against the best teams in the New England Hockey Conference.
This game was a good way to shake off the cobwebs before playing hockey for the first time in eight months.