Junior Ryan Williams
NEW BEDFORD, MA - The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's hockey team defeated visiting Framingham State, 6-0, in the final Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season game for both teams at the Stephan Hetland Memorial Ice Arena Tuesday evening.
The Corsairs, who carried the play for much of the first period firing 19 shots but coming up empty, erupted for six goals in the middle period.
The first three were scored in a span of just under three minutes. First, Corsairs freshman Cody Gut (Chichester, NH/Boston Jr Bulldogs-AtJHL) took the puck in front of the net and beat Framingham State goalie Todd Rowley (Billerica, MA/Southern New Hampshire), assisted by junior defenseman Matt Correia (Acushnet, MA/New Bedford HS) at 4:08. Just over a minute later at 5:19, junior forward Dan Dempsey (Norwell, MA/Lebanon Valley College) scored, assisted by senior forward Andrew Pontes (New Bedford, MA/Winchendon School) and sophomore defenseman Nate Dupere (Fall River, MA/Hebron Academy). The third goal came at 7:04 via the power play. Corsairs sophomore forward Ryan Ruddock (Amesbury, MA/Eastern Kodiaks-IJHL) tallied a goal as Dempsey broke through and found Ruddock open, putting it home stick-side past Rowley.
The onslaught continued as the UMass Dartmouth scored again on the power play at 12:52. Corsairs senior forward Mike Owens (South Boston, MA/Boston Jr Bulldogs-AtJHL) slapped one from the circle that trickled past Rowley and put UMass Dartmouth up 4-0. Freshman defenseman Steve Ginand (Milford, MA/Northern Cyclones-AtJHL) and Zach Hepler (Sarver, PA/Dixie Beehives-OPJHL) drew the assists. Pontes pushed the lead to 5-0 just 37 seconds later notching his third goal of the season assisted by Ruddock and Dupere. The lead swelled to 6-0, as for the second time in the period the Corsairs would score a third goal in less than a three minute span when sophomore forward Greg Girtatos (Tyngsboro, MA/Bishop Guertin HS) slid one by Rowley assisted by junior forward Dave McDonald (Wakefield, MA/Valley Jr Warriors) at 15:27.
UMass Dartmouth outshot Fitchburg State in the second period, 25-10, and for the game, 49-26. Junior goaltender Ryan Williams (Milton, ON/ Huntsville Otters-OPJHL) made 26 saves for UMass Dartmouth recording his first shutout of the season. Rowley started in goal for the Rams and made 32 saves before he was replaced after the Corsairs' sixth goal. Dale Adams (Gardner, MA/Groton School) finished up and made 13 stops.
"The team gave us everything we were looking for heading into the playoffs," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach John Rolli. "They played with energy and urgency all night. We were all over it in the first period and had nothing to show for it but we kept playing and scored six goals in the second. I'm most happy with how well we played defensively in the third period and because of that Williams was able to pick up his first shutout. All in all, this game was everything we could hope for and ask for heading into Saturday."
UMass Dartmouth improved to 15-8-2 and 10-6-2 in the MASCAC with the victory while Framingham State fell to 5-15-4 and 3-12-3 in MASCAC play with the defeat. UMD will return to action when they host a first round playoff game at the Hetland Arena Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The game was the final action of the season for Framingham State.