March 3, 2011
NEW BEDFORD, MA-Junior forward Thomas McAleer (East Islip, NY/New York Bobcats) scored at 8:50 of the second sudden death overtime period to give visiting Fitchburg State a 4-3, double overtime victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's hockey team in a Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference semi-final playoff game at the Stephan Hetland Memorial Ice Arena Thursday evening.
McAleer fired home a shot along the ice for his second goal of the game to end the contest and send the Falcons to the MASCAC finals. Freshman defenseman Shawn Bradley (Tewksbury, MA/Central Catholic HS) and sophomore defenseman Spencer Syverston (Wasilla, AK/ Minnesota-Crookston) assisted on the play. Each team scored three goals in the first two periods, and the teams entered the third period tied at 3-3.
UMass Dartmouth scored twice in the second period to erase a 2-1 FSU advantage. Junior forward Rob Dudley (Douglas, MA/Middlesex School) evened the score when he picked up a loose puck and jammed it in from the crease at 2:25 of the second period. Senior forward Jason Stahl (Londonderry, NH/Valley Jr. Warriors) put UMD ahead when he took a pass from sophomore forward Dan Dempsey (Norwell, MA/Lebanon Valley) and scored on a backhand shot from in front of the net at the 7:35 mark. The Falcons tied it less than a minute later when sophomore forward Trevor Lawler (Fitchburg, MA/New England Jr. Huskies) scored at 8:26.
Fitchburg State had come from behind to take a 2-1 lead after the first period. Freshman defenseman Ryan Hurd (Mound, MN/Rochester Ice Hawks) put UMass Dartmouth on top, jumping into the slot, taking a pass from senior forward Joe Hill (Newburyport, MA/Valley Jr. Warriors) and firing home a high wrist shot at 7:54 of the first period. The Falcons tied it when McAleer scored the first of his two goals, flipping home a high backhand shot at the 13:24 mark. Senior forward Kevin McCready (Poughkeepsie, NY/Mohawk CC) put the Falcons ahead when he took a pass from junior forward Corey Callen (Annadale, NJ/Oswego State) and fired home a shot from point blank range at 17:54.
"There's nothing more thrilling than an overtime win, and there's nothing more devastating than an overtime loss," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach John Rolli. "A year ago we struggled with an 11-15-1 record, we made one personnel change and we stuck with the rest of the team, and they brought UMD hockey back to where we expect to be-that's what I'll remember about this team. We had chances and they had chances, and when you get into overtime, either you make something happen, or it's the other team's night, and it was Fitchburg's night tonight. "
The Corsairs out shot the Falcons, 49-40. Senior goaltender Collin Tracy Medford, MA/Medford HS) made 36 saves for UMass Dartmouth, while senior Robert Vorse (Leominster, MA/Bay State Breakers) made 46 stops for Fitchburg State. Five penalties were called, and UMD killed both of their penalties while failing to score on their only power play opportunity.
UMD dropped to 18-7-1 with the defeat, while FSU improved to 17-9-1 with the victory. Fitchburg State will return to action when they visit Salem State in the MASCAC championship game Saturday. The game was the final action of the season for UMass Dartmouth.
UMASS DARTMOUTH HOCKEY