NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA –The third overtime was the charm for the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's hockey team.
Junior defenseman Nate Dupere's (Fall River, MA/Hebron Academy) wrist shot from just inside the blue line sailed into the net 1:55 into the third overtime period to give the Corsairs a come from behind, 5-4 victory over visiting Salem State in the semi-final round of the Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference post-season playoffs at the Stephan Hetland Memorial Ice Arena Tuesday evening.
Dupere's shot was the only shot the Corsairs took in the third extra period and completed a comeback that began when they trailed in the third period, 4-1.
With his team trailing by three goals, senior forward Phil Bronner (Wilbraham, MA/Springfield Jr. Falcons) re-directed home a shot from the point with UMD on the power play at 10:00 of the third period to make it 4-2. Sophomore defenseman Steve Ginand (Milford, MA/Northern Cyclones) scored his second goal of the game on a slap shot from the point 29 seconds later to make it 4-3, and senior forward Nick Marquis (Londonderry, NH/Valley Jr. Warriors) tied the game at 16:06 of the third period when he re-directed home a goalmouth pass from senior forward Dave McDonald (Wakefield, MA/Valley Jr. Warriors) to send the game into overtime.
UMD had to kill off a hooking penalty given to McDonald at 17:58 of the third period, and then each team killed two penalties in the first overtime before the remainder of the game was penalty free.
Salem State struck first, taking a 1-0 lead into the second period. Junior forward Eric DeFelice (Chalfont, PA/Manhattanville) gave SSU a 1-0 lead when he fired home a shot from the circle with the Vikings enjoying a man advantage at the 2:56 mark. Junior forward Kyle Phelan (Barnstable, MA/Bridgewater Bandits) and sophomore forward Kristofer Faric (Whitby, ON/Castleton State) drew assists. The Vikings preserved their lead when they killed a seven-minute penalty against freshman defenseman Michael Washington (Denver, CO/Jr. Huskies-EJHL), who was ejected after being penalized for contact to the head.
SSU scored twice within 25 seconds early in the second period to take a 3-0 lead. Senior defenseman Brian Hanafin (Burlington, MA/Burlington HS) sneaked into the slot and fired home a shot to make it 2-0 at 3:24, and then freshman forward Andrew Bettencourt (Riverside, RI/Philadelphia Revolution) scored on a breakaway 25 seconds later to make it 3-0.
Ginand cut the Vikings' lead to 3-1 when he scored on a slap shot from the point with UMD on the power play at 7:42 of the second period, but senior forward Derek Crocker (Wakefield, MA/Wakefield HS) restored SSU's three goal lead when he fired home a wrist shot at 8:59 with the Vikings enjoying a man advantage, setting the stage for the Corsairs' comeback.
"We wanted to give everyone their money's worth," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach John Rolli. "We lost the last three years in the semi-finals, all by one goal, once in over time and once in double overtime. We were down against Plymouth, 4-1 in the third period and came back and tied them. To be quite honest, I'm not sure how we did it tonight. Ginand's goal seemed to spark us, and Marquis' goal from his buddy, Dave McDonald, tied it up. We had to kill off a penalty at the end of regulation and two penalties in overtime. It was just a will to win game."
The Corsairs outshot the Vikings, 71-61. Senior goaltender Ryan Williams (Milton, ON/Huntsville Otters-OPJHL) made 57 saves for UMD, while junior Ryan Sutliffe (Las Vegas, NV/Helena Big Horns-NORPAC) made 66 stops for SSU.
UMass Dartmouth improved to10-7-7 with the victory, while Salem State fell to14-12-1 with the defeat. The Corsairs advanced to Saturday's championship, and will visit Plymouth State, which defeated Fitchburg State in the other semi-final, 7-1. The game was the final action of the season for Salem State.
UMASS DARTMOUTH HOCKEY