FITCHBURG, Mass. – Junior Jonathan Ruiz's (Williamstown, N.J.) power-play goal moments into the third period gave the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth the lead for good, as the Corsairs started off the new year with a 4-2 MASCAC victory at Fitchburg State on Saturday.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 4, Fitchburg State 2
Records: UMass Dartmouth (7-6-1, 4-2-1 MASCAC) | Fitchburg State (7-4-1, 3-3-1 MASCAC)
How it Happened
Four different Corsairs registered markers on the contest, with senior Jerry Laakso (Tampere, Finland) leading the point scoring with a pair of assists. Senior Casey Shea (Woburn, Mass.) opened UMass Dartmouth's scoring with his fourth goal of the season, with junior Kenny Tencza (Naples, Fla.) and sophomore Jeff Kirkwood (Ithaca, N.Y.) also finding the cage.
The Falcons received two points from Nick DiNicola (Wolcott, Conn.) and Tyler Warila (Shirley, Mass.), with DiNicola recording a goal and an assist and Warila two helpers.
Early in the first, Sascha Figi (Kloten, Switzerland) put the hosts up to start on the passes from DiNicola and Warila, and the back-and-forth began with Shea countering at 15:30 on Laakso's assist. Just 30 seconds before the first buzzer, DiNicola potted his goal to give the Falcons the 2-1 intermission lead.
The rest of the contest then belonged to the Corsairs, who kept Fitchburg State off the board while finding the cage three more times. Tencza notched the lone score of the second period, putting in a long rebound to knot the score.
Ruiz converted top-shelf on the game's only power play goal to start the third, giving the Corsairs the only lead they needed on assists from Brendan McDonough (Wilmington, Mass.) and Laakso. With just under seven minutes remaining, Kirkwood buried the security goal and senior goalkeeper Drew Michals (Newton, Mass.) turned aside six Falcon shots in the remaining minutes to seal the win.
Inside the Numbers
- UMass Dartmouth held a narrow 40-39 shot advantage on the game, scoring twice in the third despite being outshot 18-9 on the frame.
- Michals was on point throughout for the Corsairs, finishing with 37 saves including 18 in the third.
- The teams went a combined 1-for-11 on the man-advantage for the game, with Ruiz registering his fifth power-play point in MASCAC play so far this season.
- The Corsairs avenge a 4-4 tie between the squads earlier this season on Oct. 31. In the past seven meetings, the series is an even 2-2-3.
UMass Dartmouth will play its 2018 home opener next Thursday, hosting Salem State for a 7:30 p.m. start at Hetland Arena.