Nov. 9, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-After winning their conference championship and advancing to the NCAA Division III Championships in three of the last four seasons, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's hockey team will try to make their first venture into a new league a successful one when they open their 2009-10 season at Becker Wednesday afternoon. Game time at the Marlborough Sports Center in Marlborough, MA is 4:30 p.m.
The Corsairs, who won the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship in three of the past four seasons, will begin play in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference this year along with six rivals, five of whom joined UMD in leaving the ECAC Northeast.
"I think that we will be improved offensively over last season," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach John Rolli. "Last season, we had our goal scoring deficiencies , with only 11 power play goals and 77 goals in 26 games overall. We return three veteran forwards in (junior) Joe Hill (Newburyport, MA/Valley Jr. Warriors), (senior) Matt Berard (Calgary, AB/Berkshire School) and (junior) Billy Carroll (Duxbury, MA/Bridgton Academy), who missed 47 games last year, and we have added a transfer in (junior) Todd Bartelson (Pepperell, MA/Valley Jr. Warriors) from UMass Lowell, and, as a result, we have higher expectations this year offensively. Certainly, injuries and illness could affect us like they did a year ago."
Last year, the Corsairs held their opposition to 58 goals, and defense and goaltending should be strengths. "In (senior) Jon Dryjowicz-Burek (Ludlow, MA/Springfield Jr. Falcons), we have arguably the best goaltender in the MASCAC, and one of the top goaltenders in all of NCAA Division III," said Rolli. "We feel that we are very solid along the blue line, led by two-time all-star (junior) Mickey Dudley (Douglas, MA/Boston Jr. Bruins) and (senior) assistant captain Paul Moran (Rockville Centre, NY/Boston Jr. Bulldogs). Our defense and goaltending were largely responsible for us allowing only 58 goals last year, and we expect it to be as good this coming year."
While they return a solid corps of veterans, the Corsairs hope that Bartelson and several other newcomers will give them a lift. "A few other people caught our eye in training camp," said Rolli. "Among them are forwards (freshmen) Nick Marquis (Londonderry, NH/Valley Jr. Warriors) and Dave McDonald (Wakefield, MA/Valley Jr. Warriors) and defenseman Ricky Miller (Colorado Springs, CO/Northern Cyclones).
The new league will give the UMD schedule a new look. "We look forward to our membership in the MASCAC, a league of seven teams with similar academic and admissions standards," said Rolli. "Playing each other three times will only accentuate the rivalries which we've enjoyed with teams like Fitchburg State."
The Corsairs will begin their home schedule Saturday, November 14th against Suffolk.
UMASS DARTMOUTH HOCKEY