Defense Holds Strong as Ice Hockey Edges Worcester State, 3-2

Defense Holds Strong as Ice Hockey Edges Worcester State, 3-2

WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior Mike Restuccia (Malden, Mass.) buried his second goal of the season late in the third period, giving UMass Dartmouth enough room to edge host Worcester State by a 3-2 score at the Hart Recreation Center on the campus of Holy Cross Thursday night.

The win snaps a four-game losing streak for UMass Dartmouth, as the Corsairs are now 6-10-3 overall and 5-6-2 in the MASCAC. Worcester State drops to 4-14-1 with a 1-11-1 league slate.

The visitors were backstopped by a 25-save effort from sophomore goalie Drew Michals (Newton, Mass.), who along with the UMass Dartmouth defense posted five saves and two blocked shots in the final four minutes to preserve the one-goal lead.

UMass Dartmouth controlled the offensive pace for much of the contest, outshooting Worcester State in all three periods. Junior Mike Kelly (Stoneham, Mass.) put the visitors on the board first at 7:15 of the opening stanza; following a Jon Houk (Richboro, Pa.) controlled faceoff, Kelly charged to the front of the net, beating Lancer goalie Max Kirkwood (Brunswick, Ohio).

Scoring would not resume again until the third period despite both teams combining for 23 shots in the second. Merely four minutes into the final stanza, sophomore Casey Shea (Woburn, Mass.) extended his point-scoring streak to nine games, netting a goal on assists from line mates Kelly and junior Matt Baldino (Woburn, Mass.).

Worcester State would not go quietly, as the Lancers cut the lead in half at 11:40. Freshman Marcus Mazur (Beverly Hills, Mich.) beat Michals to his left on the power play.

Restuccia and the Corsairs then struck back to restore the two-goal advantage, as the senior blasted the puck past Kirkwood while skating to his right following passes from classmate John Sartell (Wakefield, Mass.) and sophomore Brandon Berkley (Scottsdale, Ariz.).

The Lancers jumped back into striking distance less than two minutes later, when freshman Andrew Etheridge (Burrillville, R.I.) scored on a breakaway, but the Corsair defense held strong despite going against six skaters for the final minute and a half.

Kirkwood posted 36 saves for Worcester State, while the Lancers were the only team to register on the power play for the game (1-4). The Corsairs were 0-6 on the man advantage.

The final MASCAC push continues for UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, as the Corsairs make the trip to 15-3-1 Plymouth State at 6 p.m.