It’s not even New Year’s yet, but the conference races in the ECAC Northeast and MASCAC are shaping to be a tightly contested battle down the stretch. Much of the flux in the standings over the last few weeks can be attributed to the lack of games in hand, but much of the change is due to the competitive balance that defined both leagues last season. Here’s a recap of the weekend that was.
Salem State 6, Westfield State 5: A wild shootout pushes the Vikings up a point into first in the MASCAC over UMass Dartmouth, who was idle in conference play. The Owls led 3-2 entering the final period, but a frantic third period saw a combined six goals (four by Salem State), and dropped Westfield State to 1-3 in MASCAC play.
UMass Dartmouth 3, Stonehill 2 (OT): A non-conference dip here, but it doesn’t seem to matter for the Corsairs, who are off to a 6-1-1 start. Dan Dempsey’s second score of the night gave UMD the win at 3:05 in the extra period.
Worcester State 3, Fitchburg State 2 (OT): Shocker of the weekend. The Lancers are now in third place in the MASCAC thanks to a hat trick by senior Chris Wallin, including the game winner in overtime. The win marked the first time in seven seasons that Worcester State beat Fitchburg State.
Plymouth State 9, Framingham State 1: The Rams actually scored first, but it was all Plymouth State after that, leaving Framingham still looking for their first win on the season.
Salve Regina 7, Western New England 5: While Framingham State came up short in an effort to get their first win, the Seahawks out slugged the Golden Bears Saturday to grab their first victory of the season and give head coach Andy Boschetto his first career win. It also marked the Seahawks’ first win in their last thirty games (o-29-1)
Curry 4, Nichols 2: After a shaky start, the Colonials are reverting to form. Curry is 4-0 after an 0-2-2 start.
Westfield State 5, Western New England 4: For the third time in three years, the Owls are the Falcons’ Cup Champion, in a game held at the MassMutual Center, home of the AHL’s Springfield Falcons. WNEC lead 1-0 early and scored twice in the third period, but wasn’t able to pull out the win as they now sit at 3-5-1 after a 3-0-1 start.
Johnson & Wales 8, Salve Regina 5: One of many slugfests on the weekend put the Wildcats at 3-0 in conference play, one point behind first place Wentworth.
Wentworth 5, Suffolk 0: The Leopards have been buoyed by the play of several freshman and now sit alone atop the ECAC Northeast. Suffolk falls to 4-7, and their eleven games played mark the most of any ECAC Northeast team.
Weekend record: 6-3
Overall record: 37-21
Westfield State at Worcester State: Westfield State 5, Worcester State 4 (OT)
Nichols at Franklin Pierce: Nichols 6, Franklin Pierce 2
Stonehill at Wentworth: Wentworth 5, Stonehill 2
Plymouth State at Fitchburg State: Fitchburg State 5, Plymouth State 3
Southern Maine at Salem State: Salem State 6, Southern Maine 3
UMass Dartmouth at Framingham State: UMass Dartmouth4, Framingham State 0
Player of the Week
Joe Siemone, Johnson & Wales: Siemone scored a hat-trick, including the game-winner, and added a pair of assists to lift Johnson & Wales to an 8-5 victory against Salve Regina in an ECAC Northeast contest on Sunday.
Goalie of the Week
Chris Azzano,Wentworth: Azzano stopped 49 of 52 shots in a 2-0 week for Wentworth. He turned aside 27 shots in a 5-3 win over Nichols before earning his first career shutout with a 22-save performance at Suffolk. For the week, he posted a 1.50 goals against average and a .942 save percentage.
Rookie of the Week
Corey Lillie,Wentworth: Lillie factored into six of Wentworth’s 10 goals this past week by scoring three goals and assisting on three others. In Wentworth’s 5-3 win over Nichols, he had a goal and two assists before closing out the week with two goals – including the game winner – and an assist in a 5-0 win over Suffolk.
Mike Paglino, Wentworth: Paglino scored a goal and added four assists for a five-point week.
Travis Owens, Curry College: Owens made 18 saves in a 6-3 victory over Suffolk and 35 saves in a 4-2 win over Nichols.
Joe Colaianni, Salve Regina University: Colaianni scored two goals and dished out three assist to help the Salve Regina University men’s ice hockey team snap a 30-game winless streak (0-29-1) with a 7-5 win over Western New England on Saturday afternoon. He also scored a goal the following afternoon against Johnson & Wales.
Player of the Week
Chris Wallin, Worcester State: The senior had four goals and an assist for five points in a 2-1 week for the Lancers, including his first career hat trick in 3-2 win over Fitchburg State.
Goalie of the Week
Bryan Kalczynski, Worcester State: Stopped 50-of-52 shots for the Lancers in a 3-2 win over Fitchburg State.
Kevin McCready, Fitchburg State: Had two assists in a 3-2 loss to Worcester State.
Jason Stahl, UMass Dartmouth: Had three goals and four total points in a 2-0 week for UMD.
Collin Tracy, UMass Darmouth: Senior continued breakout season with a 1.95 GAA and .922 save percentage in two wins.
Jack Astedt, Plymouth State: Posted two wins and a 1.80 GAA and .933 save percentage on the week.
Alex Cottle, Plymouth State: Had six points (1-5) 9j a 2-0 week for the Panthers.
Nick Lampson, Salem State: Posted two goals in a 6-5 win over Westfield State and five points on the week overall.
Dennis Zak, Westfield State: Had seven points (3-4) in three games for the Owls.