WORCESTER, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's ice hockey team opened the 2015-16 season Tuesday evening, playing to a 1-1 tie with Worcester State at the Hart Center at the College of the Holy Cross. With the tie, the Corsairs start the season 0-0-1, while the Lancers now sit at 1-1-1. The contest opened Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) play for both teams.
UMass Dartmouth senior captain John Sartell (Wakefield, Mass.) potted the first goal of the game at 12:19 in the second period, when he received the assists from freshman Mason Nichols (Oviedo, Fla.) and sophomore Brandon Berkley (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Sartell sent the puck into the net off a backhand, bouncing off the arm of the Lancers' goaltender. The score for the senior defenseman marks the eighth of his career.
The Lancers evened the game in the third period, when freshman John Skarlis (Waterloo, Iowa) took the pass from fellow classmate Mitchell Purdie (Cavan, Ontario). Purdie played the puck from behind the net, dishing to Skarlis who slipped the shot past Corsair goalkeeper Drew Michals (Newton, Mass.).
Neither team was able to convert in the overtime period, despite UMass Dartmouth registering one shot and Worcester State four.
Michals, a sophomore, earned his first start between the pipes for the Corsairs, turning aside 36 shots. His Lancer counterpart, freshman Max Kirkwood (Brunswick, Ohio), made 27 saves on the contest.
For the Corsairs, sophomore Jerry Laakso (Tampere, Finland) topped the lineup, registering six shots, while junior Mike Kelly (Stoneham, Mass.) struck four. As a unit, Worcester State topped the night in both shots (37 to 28) and face-offs (48 to 35). Neither team could convert on the power play, going a combined 0-3 for the evening.
The Corsairs will return to action when they host nonconference rival UMass Boston on Saturday Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. to open the home season at Hetland Arena. The Lancers will meet Western New England on Thursday, Nov. 5 at home.