NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth sophomore Matt Baldino (Woburn, Mass.) snapped the scoreless deadlock midway through the second period, but Westfield State University responded with the equalizer to forge an 1-1 overtime draw this evening in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) contest inside Hetland Arena.
UMass Dartmouth (6-15-3) remained in fifth place in the conference standings with a 5-9-3 mark, but was unable to clinch a berth into the MASCAC tournament. Westfield State (11-10-2) moved into third place in the conference circuit with an 8-6-2 mark, one point ahead of Fitchburg State.
The Corsairs cracked the scoring column at the 12:29 mark of the second period, when junior Garrett Allen (Dartmouth, Mass.) delivered a cross-ice pass from the boards to Baldino in the right slot. The sophomore transfer from Norwich University snapped a wrist shot inside the far left post for his sixth marker of the season. Freshman Joe Echelmeier (Doylestown, Pa.) also penned an assist into his ledger. Despite holding a commanding 26-12 advantage in shots, the hosts had to settle for a 1-0 lead after 40 minutes of action.
The Owls revived their offensive attack early in the third period, registering five of the first six shots. Sophomore Jackson Leef (Fort Wayne, Ind.) nearly tied the contest with a slap shot from the left point, but UMass Dartmouth sophomore JJ Solloway (Derry, N.H.) made a sliding save to his right.
The Corsairs almost extended their lead after winning the ensuing faceoff as Baldino broke in alone, but senior Ian Perrier (Whitehorse, YT) denied the attempt.
Westfield State finally broke through at the 5:50 mark, when senior Frank Zuccaro (Newmarket, Ontario) redirected a pass from classmate Dave O'Connor (Manchester, Conn.) that trickled past the hosts' netminder. The Owls continued to apply the offensive pressure, including a successful cycle that provided two chances in the waning seconds.
The visitors carried the play in the early moments of the extra session, but neither team generated any quality scoring chances. Westfield State outshot its hosts over the final two frames, 22-10, to close the margin to minus-2 (36-34) for the contest.
Solloway registered 33 saves, including 15 in the third period, in 65 minutes of action, while his counterpart, Perrier, finished with 35 stops.
Junior Mike Restuccia (Malden, Mass.) was 17-for-28 from the dot to help the Corsairs hold a 41-75 advantage in faceoffs.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24, when the Corsairs travel to Fitchburg State for their regular-season finale.