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The Mass Media

Men’s hockey puts Pilgrims to bed and clamps Cadets in recent hot streak

Men%E2%80%99s+hockey+player+during+home+game+against+UMass+Dartmouth+from+previous+season.+Photo+from+The+Mass+Media+Archives
Men’s hockey player during home game against UMass Dartmouth from previous season. Photo from The Mass Media Archives

When it rains, sometimes it doesn’t pour, and the smoldering eternal flame is able to once again ignite into a bonfire. For UMass Boston Men’s Hockey, they dug deep for some flint, removed the flack from their name and, with the help of their industrial-grade steel defense, burst into the hottest they’ve been all season. Working against New England College and Norwich University, the Beacons were coming off a three-game losing streak in which they registered just a single goal in a 2–1 loss against Vermont University Castleton on Friday, Jan. 12, as seen on Beacons Athletics. [1]

The Beacons managed to revive their offense in their weekend stay at Barry Ice Rink, Jan. 19 and 20, pillaging New England College’s Pilgrims with a 5–3 win and proceeding to send the Cadets packing with a cold-hearted 1–0 dub, their biggest victory to date given Norwich’s national ranking. [1] Much of the Beacons’ firepower came by way of the teams’ lean, mean scoring machines, most of whom played forward; some defensemen got in on the party too, and their contributions paid off hugely when their two-day bender at Barry’s barn came to a close. 

Night one against New England College saw the floodgates open on the asthenic group of Pilgrims, yet the Beacons’ relentless attack in the offensive zone during the first period quickly settled down in the second, allowing New England to deliver significant strikes. According to Beacons Athletics, UMass Boston lit Bobby’s lamp three times in the first; Jude Kurtas found the back of the net for his seventh less than three minutes into the game, while Connor Foley and Jazz Krivtsov extended the lead to three, impressively scoring the pair in a span of three minutes. [2] The surge helped the Beacons exorcise their demons by burying three after 20 minutes, allowing them to temporarily bury the hatchet on their offensive struggles. The Pilgrims, however, powered through the Beacons’ waves of pressure, capitalizing on some windfalls of their own. 

Not long after Foley and Krivtsov netted their fifth and second goals of the season, it became the Pilgrims’ turn to draw on the scoresheet, and a drawn penalty off a Kurtas tripping call helped them get back into the game just minutes after scoring their first. New England brought their deficit to 3–2 with 3:33 left in the second, and it looked like the game was starting to turn in their favor rather swiftly. Their efforts soon rang true in the third, and New England miraculously knotted things up at 3–3 less than a minute into the third. It seemed like the game slipped straight through UMass Boston’s fingertips, but in stepped blueliner Kevin Sadovski. 

The defenseman made up for his previous misfortunes this time around, escaping from his handcuffs and clapping one home to help the Beacons retake the lead. Sadovski hit the pipe earlier on in the first [2], but he made sure not to miss again; his on-ice adjustments gave him his sixth goal of the season. For good measure, Krivtsov added an immeasurably important insurance goal for the Beacons when they were on the man advantage, helping them get out to a 5–3 lead with 7:58 left. The score never changed after that, and with Sadovski’s heroics, alongside Foley and Krivtsov’s prowess, the Beacons prevailed and went into their following matchup against the Cadets levelheaded.

Norwich’s national ranking didn’t keep the Beacons from stepping up to the task, and they undoubtedly played one of their best games of the season against the Cadets. Beacons Athletics’ stat sheet for the game showed that the Beacons were running the Cadets out of Columbia point in the first 20 minutes, clobbering them with shots on goal, consistently keeping Norwich’s goaltender honest. The Beacons ended up leading in shots 18–6 after one, but couldn’t nudge one past Norwich netminder Sami Molu for the life of them. [3] 

When the second period came around, goaltender Sam Best stood on his head to keep UMass Boston in the game, stopping 19 shots to keep things at bay between the two teams. Two shots hit the pipe for the Cadets in the second, while Foley hit the pipe in the first, ultimately keeping the game scoreless through 40 minutes of action-packed hockey. 

The third and final frame bore witness to the same intensity and high stakes the first two periods possessed, and in turn, helped the match transition into an instant classic with a finish any fan of the sport loves to see. Luckily, the game didn’t have to go into overtime for the Beacons, and there’s one huge thing to thank for that: Jakob Teply’s stick. UMass Boston Athletics’ X page captured the moment in which Teply became the Beacons’ hero in the midst of chaos. [4]

With four minutes left in the third, a shot by Kurtas that was blocked to the right of the left faceoff circle ricocheted to Teply, who backhanded the shot home after finding Moli out of position. He was mauled by his teammates along the end boards, seemingly netting the game winner and backpedaling the Cadets into upset territory. Best was able to hold his own as the final seconds ticked off, and the Beacons wound up winning the game by the same score, ending their night on the right side of a monumental upset that may ultimately give them the moxie they need to finish the season strong. 

The Beacons’ rebound of a weekend couldn’t have come at a better time. The squad was a week removed from scoring just one goal in a weekend of action, and were treading in muddy waters since their loss to Connecticut College in the Codfish Bowl. A game against a profoundly erratic team in New England College is exactly what the doctor ordered, and the Beacons’ beatdown on the Pilgrims helped give them the boost they needed to feel better about their ability to do damage offensively—it helps when you outshoot them 44–26 and win 60 of 79 faceoffs. [2] Their dominance was able to transform into grit the following day, and with a statement win over Norwich, it’s safe to say that the Beacons are officially en fuego.

 

[1] 2023-24 Men’s Ice Hockey Schedule – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

[2] Men’s Ice Hockey vs New England College on 1/19/2024 – Box Score – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

[3] Men’s Ice Hockey vs Norwich University on 1/20/2024 – Box Score – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)

[4] UMassBostonAthletics on X: “#ICYMI | The Beacons’ first-year forward Jakob Teply’s game-winner puts UMass Boston over the top of nationally ranked 13th Norwich University to cap off an electrifying weekend at Beaconville! #d3hky #RollBeacs https://t.co/eeGv1sRi1I” / X (twitter.com)

About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor