March 2, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's hockey team will open their second Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference playoff campaign with their first MASCAC playoff home game when they host Fitchburg State in a semi-final playoff game Thursday evening. Game time is 7:30 at the Stephan Hetland Memorial Ice Arena.
The Corsairs, who went 1-1 in a pair of road MASCAC playoff games last season, enter the playoffs having won nine of their last 10 games. They have allowed just 11 goals in their nine wins. This season, they have allowed three or more goals on seven occasions, and are 1-6. They have held opponents to two or fewer goals in 18 games, and are 17-0-1 when that happens.
"In every season, there are going to be peaks and valleys, and certainly, the first semester when we finish 7-2-1 with an almost unimaginable 19 goals against set the tone for this team," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach John Rolli. "When we came back from the semester break, we stumbled to a 3-3 record over a three week period. You always want to play your best hockey at the end of the season. The last year three weeks, we are 5-0-0 with six goals against, have killed 26 of 28 penalties, and we are seven for 30 on the power play. We are continuing to get outstanding goaltending as we have all season, we are finally putting the puck in the net, our special teams have been at their best, and, more importantly, our goals against is one of the best in the country during the last three weeks."
The other semi-final game matches Westfield State and Salem State. "All four teams playing in the semi-final have played each other three times and are very familiar with each other," said Rolli. "In this case, you can throw out the seeds and the home ice advantage. Whichever team brings its best game will advance."
Thursday evening's winners will meet in the championship game Saturday. If the Corsairs win Thursday, they will host the championship game.
UMASS DARTMOUTH HOCKEY