Men's Ice Hockey

1984 NCAA National Champions | 16 NCAA Tournaments | 6 Conference Championships

Game Preview: Men's Ice Hockey vs. New England College

Game Preview: Men's Ice Hockey vs. New England College

Men's Ice Hockey vs. New England College
Saturday, February 10—4 p.m.
Babson Skating Center—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and New England College will meet for the third time this season and 68th time overall on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale for both teams. The Beavers are 40-21-6 all-time against the Pilgrims in a series that dates back to 1977. The road team has won each of the first two matchups between the squads this season.

Junior Mike Whitehair scored the go-ahead goal at 4:51 of the third period as New England College defeated the Beavers, 5-3, on January 19 in Babson Park. Classmate Connor Fries and sophomore William Riise both had a goal and assist for the Pilgrims, who got 39 saves from senior netminder Kyle Shapiro. Seniors Charlie Ackerman and Bobby Hall and junior Tommy Munichiello all scored for Babson.

Senior Ryan Gouveia scored the go-ahead goal at 16:39 of the third period and classmate Rob Devaney tacked on an empty net goal in the closing seconds as the Beavers defeated New England College, 3-1, on November 10 in Henniker, N.H. First-year Christian Faggas also had a goal for Babson, while senior Joe Osaka scored for the Pilgrims, who got 40 saves from Shapiro.

New England College (12-10-2, 7-9-1 NEHC) has dropped four of its last five games after suffering a 4-2 loss at UMass Boston on Friday night. First-year Channing Gorscak and sophomore Keenan Haase staked the Pilgrims to a 2-1 lead early in the third period before the Beacons struck for three unanswered goals over the final 11:27. Osaka (14-8-22) is third in the conference in goals, senior Bryce Nielsen (10-11-21) has scored twice on the power play, and sophomore Adam Zollner (6-15-21) is tied for the team lead in assists. Shapiro (9-10-2) has posted a 2.71 goals against average and a .918 save percentage in 21 starts this winter.

Babson (13-8-3, 11-4-2 NEHC) extended its unbeaten streak to four games with a 7-3 victory over Southern Maine on Friday night. Hall and first-year Nick Rosa both finished with a goal and two assists, and Ackerman registered three assists for the Beavers, who notched a season-high four power play goals in the win. Hall (11-10-21) and senior Matt McMorrow (6-15-21) are tied for 10th in the league in points, Gouveia (12-8-20) ranks fifth in the NEHC in goals, and Ackerman (7-10-17) is averaging just shy of a point per game in conference play. Junior goaltenders Matt Pompa (9-7-3) and Bryan Botcher (4-1-0) have combined to post a 2.13 goals against average and a .927 save percentage with three shutouts this winter.

Saturday's contest against NEC marks the final regular season home game for Babson's 11-man senior class of Ackerman, Devaney, Gouveia, Hall, McMorrow, Josh Casper, Joe DePietto, Jake Donahue, Matt Holtshouser, Zach Phelps and Paul Wagner. This group helped the Beavers reach the conference tournament final in both 2015 and 2016, while posting an overall record of 66-29-12 over the last four seasons.

Babson has locked up home ice for the NEHC Tournament quarterfinals last Saturday and will enter the playoffs as either the second or third seed. The Beavers enter the day one point behind second-place Hobart and must make up that point to pass the Statesmen for the second seed.

Hall's three-point night against Southern Maine extended his points streak to six consecutive games, which includes three goals and four assists over the last three contests. First-year Patrick Flynn has recorded at least one assist in four consecutive outings, while McMorrow and Gouveia have now produced 10 goals and 11 assists over the last nine games.

The Beavers are 13-4-3 in the month of February going back to 2015.