Donlan Nets Game Winning Goal

Shun Hasegawa

Senior Patrick Donlan and the Beacons proved to the 139 audience members, who began to step towards the exit for a break before an overtime, to be gravely mistaken as he netted a dramatic game-winning wrist shot with only 8.1 seconds left in the final period in a 5-4 upset victory from a three-goal deficit over Connecticut College (5-14-1, 3-11-1) at Clark Athletic Center on Saturday, February 5.

The UMass Boston Men’s Ice Hockey team (3-15-1, 1-13-1) picked up its first win in twelve games, also the first in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East play. The Beacons, as of February 6, stand ninth in ECAC East and, with four games to play, need to pass eighth-place Skidmore College, who are already ahead by four points, for an appearance in the ECAC Semifinal.

“We were really flat [in the first period]. They jumped on us with three goals. I called a timeout at the mid point of the first. I really tried to get [the] guys going,” Beacons’ second-year Michael Bertoni said. “It was good for the guys to get a win. I’m happier for them because they deserved it.” Freshman defenseman Tim Recio assisted Donlan’s golden goal with his pinpoint breaking pass to the forward who beat the Camels’ goalie Steve Oven to net the puck. Donlan also scored a power play goal at 17:34 in the first period, three minutes after UMB fell down into a 0-3 hole. Freshman Hunter Dowd narrowed down the margin to one with his first collegiate goal, this time with only four seconds left in the frame. Brian Margetts netted an equalizer in the second period, and sophomore Steve Kelleher’s flip shot gave the Beacons a 4-3 lead at 7:53 of the third period. Connecticut College forward Julian Madden countered with his eighth goal of the season four minutes later, a considerate stage effect for the thrilling ending. The game was not over yet. The Connecticut College’s last scoring attempt with eight seconds to go before a game-ending buzzer still produced a breakaway and a shot at close range that could’ve forced the Beacons into overtime. However, freshman goalie Buddy Johnson barely made his 37th save in the 1:56 match to escape from the jam. The clutch at the very end of the match taught the Beacons that every single second matters. “I told the guys ‘you should take this lesson seriously,'” Bertoni commented. “‘Eight seconds in ice hockey is enough time to score.'”

The coveted victory had seemed to come earlier since the Beacons have shown certain improvement despite what their losing record indicates. After fretting its fans at a disappointing 0-8 loss to University of Southern Maine two weekends before, UMB quickly picked up the rhythm the following week to play tight 1-2 contests at Williams College and at Middlebury College, who was ranked fifth nationally. On Friday, February 4, the Beacons dominated the whole match by overshooting Tufts University by 56-28, although the final score was 2-4. The Beacons will be in action at Skidmore College on Friday, February 11, and at Castleton College on Saturday, February 12. They will be back at the Harbor on the weekend of February 18 and 19 when they host New England College and Saint Anselm College for the last game of regular season.