HOOKSETT, N.H. -- Senior Luke Rivera’s (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) goal with 5:40 remaining proved to be the game-winner and lifted Fredonia to a 4-3 non-league college ice hockey victory over UMass Dartmouth in semifinal round play of the 2018 Manchester PAL/Stovepipe Tournament Saturday afternoon at The Ice Den.
The Blue Devils, who received votes in this week’s USCHO Division III national rankings, improve to 6-1 overall with their fifth straight triumph and will take on host Southern New Hampshire in Sunday’s championship game at 4:40 pm, as the Penmen advanced to the title game with a 2-1 win over previously undefeated and seventh-ranked UMass Boston in Saturday’s other semifinal matchup. The Corsairs, who fall to 2-5 overall, will meet the Beacons in the third place game Sunday afternoon at 1:40 pm.
UMass Dartmouth raced out to a 3-0 lead just 10:24 into the contest on the strength of tallies off the sticks of seniors Jonathan Ruiz (Williamstown, N.J.), Mason Nichols (Oviedo, Fla.) and Brendan McDonough (Wilmington, Mass.), as Nichols netted a shorthanded marker and McDonough collected a power play goal. Fredonia got on the board less than two minutes later on freshman Ethan Kirbis’s (Clarence, N.Y.) power play tally, and that score held up until junior Ryan Dunn’s (Rockland, Mass.) goal 1:23 into the final frame sliced the Blue Devils’ deficit to one. Junior Charlie Manley’s (Orchard Park, N.Y.) power play marker evened matters and set up Rivera’s heroics for Fredonia, as his go-ahead goal was set up on feeds from senior Jon Carlson (Fort Frances, Ont.) and sophomore Tommy Martyn (Westchester, Ill.). The Corsairs had a pair of chances at the equalizer in the closing seconds but were unable to take advantage of the extra skater, as the Blue Devils held on for their triumph.
Sophomore Ryan Dunner (Glassboro, N.J.) notched a pair of assists in the win for Fredonia, which received a helper from senior Jimmy Morgan (Highlands Ranch, Colo.). McDonough added an assist to his goal for a two-point performance in the setback for UMass Dartmouth, which received helpers off the sticks of juniors Steven Leonard (Rockaway Park, N.Y.) and Patrick Wrenn (Charlestown, Mass.) as well as freshman Jimmy Pelton (Syracuse, N.Y.).
Junior Anton Rosen (Orsa, Sweden) picked up the win in goal for Fredonia with a 24-save effort, while senior Tommy Bay (Duluth, Ga.) made 27 stops and registered his second assist of the year on offense for UMass Dartmouth. The Blue Devils outshot the Corsairs by a 31-27 margin and held a 38-32 edge in faceoff wins for the contest.
(Photo Credit: Rainier Almonte '19)