Series Preview: Men's Ice Hockey vs. No. 7/8 UMass Boston

Series Preview: Men's Ice Hockey vs. No. 7/8 UMass Boston

Men's Ice Hockey vs. No. 7/8 UMass Boston
Friday, February 8 | Babson Skating Center | 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 9 | Edward T. Barry Ice Rink | 4 p.m.

THE SERIES
• Babson and UMass Boston will conclude the regular season with a home-and-home series beginning on Friday night in Babson Park. The Beavers are 45-18-6 all-time against the Beacons and the programs have split their last eight meetings going back to 2016.

LAST MEETING
• Junior Nolan Redler finished with two goals and one assist to help UMass Boston defeat Babson, 7-5, on December, 2017, in Boston.
• Six different players had a goal for the Beacons, who built a 4-1 advantage 24 seconds into the second period. Rob Devaney '18, Ryan Gouveia '18 and Matt McMorrow '18 all contributed a goal and two assists for the Beavers.

LAST BABSON WIN
• Bobby Hall '18 and sophomore Christian Faggas produced three points apiece to help the Beavers edge UMass Boston, 4-3, on December 1, 2017, in Babson Park.
• Hall had two goals and Faggas scored once for Babson, which got 41 saves from senior netminder Matt Pompa. Redler, senior David MacGregor and junior Cody Wickline each had a goal for the Beacons.

SCOUTING THE BEACONS
• No. 7 USCHO.com/No. 8 D3hockey.com UMass Boston (17-5-1, 13-2-1 NEHC) enters the weekend riding a four-game unbeaten streak following last Saturday's 3-3 OT tie at then-No. 14 Hobart.
• Junior Daniel Nachbaur and first-years Jeffrey Skinner and Evan Rochowiak all scored for the Beacons, who got 37 saves from MacBurnie.
• Redler (10-17-27) is second in the league in scoring, while Nachbaur (9-11-20) and sophomore Zack Bross (9-9-18) are tied for second on the team with three power play goals apiece.
• MacBurnie ranks seventh in Division III in goals against average (1.62) and 11th in save percentage (.935), and has gone 16-4-1 in 21 starts this winter.

SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
• Babson (15-5-3, 10-3-3 NEHC), which is receiving votes in both polls, is coming off a 1-1 OT tie at Skidmore last Saturday.
• Pompa made 24 saves and sophomore Patrick Flynn tied the game at 17:25 of the third period as the Beavers picked up a key point to stay alive in the league title race.
• Sophomore Nick Rosa (12-13-25) is tied for third in the conference in scoring, first-year Mike Egan (11-13-24) leads all NEHC rookies in points, and classmate Matt Wiesner (14-6-20) is tied for 12th in Division III in goals.
• Pompa (7-2-2) and fellow senior Bryan Botcher (8-3-1) have combined to post a 2.49 goals against average and a .917 save percentage this winter.

FINAL WEEKEND FIREWORKS
• The NEHC enters the final weekend of regular season play with six of eight playoff berths accounted for and Babson and Norwich still with a chance to grab a share of the league's regular season title alongside UMass Boston.
• The Beavers, who can be seeded anywhere from first to fifth when the conference tournament starts next weekend, must win both games against the Beacons to earn the top seed. The Green and White can clinch home ice in the quarterfinals with a win or two ties.

NEHC Standings Pts. Record Remaining Games
1. UMass Boston 27 13-2-1 at BAB, vs. BAB
2. Babson 23 10-3-3 vs. UMB, at UMB
3. Norwich 23 11-4-1 vs. NEC, vs. USM
4. New England College 21 8-3-5 at NEC, at CAST
5. Hobart 20 9-5-2 vs. JWU, vs. SUF
       

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT
• Babson's six-man senior class of Botcher, Pompa, Matt Brazel, Stevie DeForge, Matt Michalke and Tommy Munichiello will compete in their final regular season home game inside the Babson Skating Center on Friday night.
• The group has helped lead the program to an overall mark of 64-29-9 since arriving on campus in 2015, which includes a 36-10-4 record at home.

AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
• Babson enters the weekend averaging the fifth fewest penalty minutes per game in Division III (8.30) and are ranked eighth nationally with an 89.41 percent success rate on the penalty kill. Additionally, the Green and White is also 17th in the country in scoring offense (3.61 goals per game).

PAST SUCCESS AGAINST THE BEACONS
• Munichiello has produced four goals and two assists for six points in six games against UMass Boston, while Brazel has contributed a goal and six assists for seven points in eight career outings against the Beacons.
• Rosa scored in both matchups last winter, while junior Connor Dahlman had an assist in both games.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
• The Beavers are 10-0-2 this winter and are unbeaten in 22 games since the start of last year when allowing two goals or less.