Feb. 21, 2009
NORTH SMITHFIELD, RI-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's hockey team defeated host Johnson & Wales, 4-2, in an Eastern College Athletic Conference Northeast game at the Rhode Island Sports Center Saturday evening. The win was the 500th career victory for Head Coach John Rolli, who is now 500-135-23 in his 25th season at UMass Dartmouth.
Sophomore forward Joe Hill (Newburyport, MA/Valley Jr. Warriors) and junior forward Aaron Blades (Chino, CA/Cushing Academy) each scored a goal and an assist for the Corsairs, while sophomore forward Jason Stahl (Londonderry, NH/Valley Jr. Warriors) added a pair of assists.
The Corsairs scored twice in the second period to break a 1-1 tie, and then had to kill a five minute major penalty to sophomore defenseman Mickey Dudley (Douglas, MA/Boston Jr. Bruins) in the third period to hold on for the victory. Johnson & Wales got on the board first when freshman forward Domenic Recchia scored a power play goal to give the Wildcats the 1-0 lead at the 15:23 mark. Freshman forward Craig Cardone (Westford, MA/Westford Academy) scored to tie the game less than a minute later, at 16:19. Freshman forwards Rob Dudley (Douglas, MA/Middlesex School) and Andrew Pontes (New Bedford, MA/Winchendon School) assisted.
Blades gave UMass Dartmouth a 2-1 lead when he scored 1:35 into the second period, converting passes from Stahl and Hill. Hill scored at 4:59 to put the Corsairs ahead, 3-1 before Jeremiah Ketts scored for JWU at 17:01 to make the score 3-2 after two periods.
Junior defenseman Graeme Bourne (Redlands, CA/Campbell River Storm) scored his first goal of the season at 6:54 of the third period to make it 4-2. Freshman forward Mike Owens (South Boston, MA/Boston Jr. Bulldogs) and sophomore forward Billy Manning (Stoughton, MA/Bridgewater Jr. Bandits) assisted. The Corsairs then killed Dudley's major penalty, and held off the Wildcats the rest of the way. "It was good to end the regular season on a positive note," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach John Rolli. "Now we have to go to work and try to defend our championship."
"Winning 500 games is a tremendous achievement," said UMass Dartmouth Director of Athletics Ian Day. "It can also say a lot about a coach. It tells me that individual has a tremendous work ethic, that they are very knowledgeable about their sport, and, when they do it all at one institution, it also tells me how loyal they are. These are all attributes that Coach Rolli exemplifies. UMass Dartmouth considers itself fortunate to have John Rolli as head coach."
UMass Dartmouth out shot Johnson & Wales, 40-35. Junior goaltender Jon Dryjowicz-Burek (Ludlow, MA/Springfield Jr. Falcons) made 33 saves for the Corsairs, while J.R. Woodland made 36 saves for the Wildcats.
The Corsairs are now 16-7-2 and 13-3-1 in the ECAC Northeast, while the Wildcats are now 8-12-3 and 7-6-2. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host an ECAC Northeast first round playoff game at the Stephan Hetland Memorial Arena next Saturday afternoon.
UMASS DARTMOUTH HOCKEY