NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – UMass Dartmouth withstood a late barrage of shots from Fitchburg State in the closing minutes of a scrappy MASCAC contest, as the Corsairs defeated the Falcons at home for the first time since 2013 in a 2-1 win on Thursday night at Hetland Arena.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 2, Fitchburg State 1
Records: UMass Dartmouth (6-4-0, 3-2-0 MASCAC) | Fitchburg State (4-5-1, 3-2-1 MASCAC)
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth's explosive offense was held in check into the second period. Freshman Steven Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) was able break the scoreless tie three minutes in, when he controlled the Jeff Kirkwood (Ithaca, N.Y.) pass and flicked the shot top glove side to give UMass the Dartmouth the lead.
The advantage would increase nearly 10 minutes later as Brendan McDonough (Wilmington, Mass.) took the bouncing puck and tipped it into the net. Jerry Laakso (Tampere, Finland) and Leonard were credited with the assists. UMass Dartmouth would hold on to its two-goal advantage heading into the final period of regulation.
After being outshot 23-16 through 40 minutes of play, the Falcons fired 20 shots to the Corsairs' seven in the final 20 minutes of action. Fitchburg State eventually snapped the shutout bid with just under six minutes remaining, when junior James Gordon (Hingham, Mass.) dug the puck from the scrum in the corner and scored top glove side on Corsair keeper Drew Michals (Newton, Mass.). Even with the extra skater, the Falcons could not knot up the score despite firing six shots in the final 60 seconds.
Inside the Numbers
- Michals made 35 stops on the evening in his third career outing allowing just one or fewer goals.
- Fitchburg State goalkeeper Kirby Saari (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) registered 28 saves between the pipes for the Falcons despite staying winless against UMass Dartmouth (0-1-1).
- With another power play goal on the night, the Corsairs have scored at least one in all but two games on the season .
- With an assist on Thursday, Laakso tallies his ninth assist on the season and sixth in conference play. He sits tied for fourth in the league in assist scoring and third in defenseman scoring with seven points.
- UMass Dartmouth continues its hot streak after winning the most games in November since the 2008-09 season, extending its winning streak to three games.
- Thursday marks the first win for the Corsairs against the Falcons since Feb. 28, 2015, when the sixth-seeded Corsairs upended No. 3 seed Fitchburg State 5-4 in the MASCAC Quarterfinals. The last UMass Dartmouth prevailed over the Falcons at Hetland Arena was a 7-4 victory on Feb. 14, 2013 en route to their first MASCAC title.
UMass Dartmouth hits the ice one last time before the winter break, hosting Framingham State for a MASCAC tilt with puck drop scheduled for 4 p.m.