NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- Sophomore Eric Bolden’s (Oswego, Ill.) goal 2:37 into overtime capped a frantic comeback in the closing minutes and lifted UMass Dartmouth to a 4-3 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference ice hockey victory over Worcester State Thursday evening at Hetland Arena.
After battling to a 2-2 draw after 40 minutes of play, the visiting Lancers (5-3, 3-2 MASCAC) grabbed a 3-2 lead on senior Mike Moran’s (Milford, Mass.) power play goal 5:05 into the third period, and that score held up until the host Corsairs (3-6, 2-3 MASCAC) pulled the goaltender for an extra attacker with 1:58 remaining in regulation. Junior Steven Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) netted the tying tally with 24 seconds to play to enable UMass Dartmouth to force the extra session, and Bolden converted a feed from senior Jonathan Ruiz (Williamstown, N.J.) from the left dot for the golden goal that capped the hosts’ comeback.
Ruiz staked the Corsairs to an early edge with a power play marker 2:59 into the contest, but Worcester State evened matters three minutes later on sophomore Matthew Manning’s (Novi, Mich.) shorthanded goal. The Lancers grabbed a 2-1 second period cushion on junior Nick Patullo’s (Doylestown, Pa.) tally 5:18 into the stanza, but UMass Dartmouth evened matters on senior Connor Court’s (Swansea, Ill.) goal with 3:06 to play in the frame, setting up the hosts’ late heroics.
Senior Brendan McDonough (Wilmington, Mass.), juniors Sean Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) and Patrick Wrenn (Charlestown, Mass.) and sophomore Nicholas Short (Los Angeles, Calif.) each collected assists in the win for the Corsairs in support of sophomore Parker Butler (Summit, N.J.), who made 22 saves to earn his first victory in a UMass Dartmouth uniform.
Manning added an assist to go with his goal in the setback for Worcester State, which also received helpers from seniors Mitch Purdie (Peterborough, Ont.) and Cody Weaver (West Greenwich, R.I.) as well as freshman Nick Pennucci (Worcester, Mass.). Sophomore Aaron Callan (South Lyon, Mich.) made 35 stops between the pipes on the night for the Lancers in suffering his first setback in five decisions on the year, as the Corsairs outshot Worcester State by a 39-25 margin for the contest.
UMass Dartmouth hosts Stonehill in a non-league outing on Saturday evening at Hetland Arena that faces off at 7:00 pm, while Worcester State entertains Fitchburg State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference clash on Saturday evening in Worcester, Mass. that faces off at 6:00 pm.
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete '21)