WESTFIELD, MA –Senior defenseman Zach Hepler (Sarver, PA/Dixie Beehives-OPHL) scored the tie-breaking goal early in the third period and senior goaltender Ryan Williams (Milton, ON/Huntsville Otters-OPJHL) made 39 saves to lead the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's hockey team to a 2-1 victory over host Westfield State in a Massachusetts Collegiate Athletic Conference match at the Amelia Park Arena Thursday evening.
Hepler fired a slap shot from the right point that beat WSU goaltender Eddie Davey at 3:21 of the third period with the Corsairs on the power play. The Owls fired 15 shots at Williams in the final period, several when they had a two-man advantage for two minutes late in the game, but UMD repelled every attack and preserved their lead.
Nic Vidoni gave Westfield State a 1-0 lead when he scored from right in front of the net early in the second period. UMD tried it when senior forward Dave McDonald (Wakefield, MA/Valley Jr. Warriors) fired home a wrist shot from the circle to climax a three on two rush at 8:40 of the second period.
"It was a back and forth game, and the first period pretty much set the tone," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach John Rolli. "They got the lead early in the second period and we came back and tied it up, then we got a huge power play goal from Zach Hepler on a bomb of a shot from the point that was the game winner. When they got the five on three, we went with two forwards and one defenseman, and everything that got past us Ryan Williams saved. He was immense the whole game."
The Owls outshot the Corsairs, 40-24. Davey made 22 saves.
UMass Dartmouth improved to 3-1-2 and 2-0-1 in the MASCAC with the victory, while Westfield State dropped to 6-2-0 and 3-1-0 in the MASCAC with the defeat. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Fitchburg State Saturday. The Owls will visit Salem State Saturday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH HOCKEY