Photo courtesy of Paul Brandon photography
GENEVA, N.Y.--Senior goalie Billy Faust (Alta Loma, Calif.) posted his second-consecutive NCAA shutout and Matt Lemire (Townsend, Mass.) and Mike Thomson (Reading, Mass.) each scored, to lead #6/7 UMass Boston Men's Hockey to the program's first Frozen Four.
#6/7 UMass Boston 2, #4/4 Hobart College 0
(UMass Boston 23-4-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Faust continued his phenomenal playoff run by posting a season-high 42 saves and the Beacons scored one goal each in the second and third period, to hand Hobart College their first loss of the season at The Cooler (13-1-0).
The senior goalie made 11 or more saves in each period, including 15 in the first and 16 in the final stanza. Faust matched Kevin Bendel ('12) as the only two goalies in program history to post back-to-back shutouts. He also extended his program-records with four shutouts in a single-season and five for his career.
Lemire tied the team-high with his 15th goal of the season, as the senior broke a four-game goal-drought. Thomson added his second NCAA Tournament goal in as many games and his fourth collegiate tally.
Junior Albee Daley (Averill Park, N.Y.) and sophomore Colin Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) each picked up assists in the victory.
As a team the Beacons continued their strong play in front of the net, as they teamed up for 14 blocked shots.
Hobart senior goalie Lino Chimienti made 27 saves on 29 shots in the final game of his collegiate career. The contest marked the final games for the Statesmen's five seniors, who made the NCAA Tournaments in back-to-back years, but fell in their first game both times.
Hobart was the aggressor from the start, as they outshot UMass Boston 15-12 and controlled the play for most of the period. Despite the Statesmen pressure, UMass Boston had their chances. Lemire whiffed on a one-timer with an open net and Tyler Bishop (Ramsey, N.J.) got in close, but was denied by Chimienti.
After killing off a penalty of their own in the first period, UMass Boston scored their first goal on the power-play. Going up against the second-ranked penalty kill in the country, Lemire took the puck off the near boards and circled towards the slot, before unleashing a bullet through traffic that found the back of the net at the nine-minute mark of the second.
The Beacons continued to attack and nearly made it 2-0 on the next shift. Freshman Garrett Gallagher(Aston, Pa.) snuck a puck through Chimienti's armpit, but the puck trickled back towards the net and ended up hitting the outside of the post.
After the second period intermission break, Hobart came out on fire, as they pressed to tie the game.
Jon Neal had the best chance for the Statesmen, but the junior defenseman rang the crossbar, much to the disbelief of the Hobart crowd.
Thomson made Hobart pay minutes later, as the freshman skated into the zone and uncorked a hard shot that just beat Chimienti to make it 2-0 at 12:05 of the third. The Statesmen would continue to push, but UMass Boston got strong play from Faust and the team consistently cleared up the rebounds.
After back-to-back timeouts, UMass Boston mobbed Faust as the final horn sounded, as the Beacons recognized their dream of heading to Lake Placid.
BY THE NUMBERS
- The men's hockey team is the first program in school history to reach the Final Four in any sport. UMass Boston Women's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field both won national championships in the 1980's, but they competed at the national meet with dozens of teams.
- With their victory, UMass Boston moved into second-place in program history with their 23 wins. The only team to have won more games in a season was the 1981-82 team. The 81-82 team finished 24-3-0 and won the ECAC Division III Tournament.
- UMass Boston matched the program-record for roads wins in a single-season with 11 (11-2-1). The 2014-15 team also finished with 11 wins.
- Eight players set a new program-record in today's contest with their 30th appearance of the season. The prior mark was 29 games set by seven members of the 1988-89 team.
- Senior Frankie DeAugustine (Pittsburgh, Pa.) tied Robert McNeice ('92) for the career record for games played with 106.
- UMass Boston finished 1-for-2 on the power-play, while holding Hobart to an 0-for-2 mark. The Beacons have not allowed a power-play goal in their last three games.
- The Beacons improved to 3-1-1 all-time against the Statesmen. Saturday's contest marked the first meeting between the two programs since 1999.
- Saturday's game also marked the Beacons' first game against an ECAC West opponent under 10th year head coach Peter Belisle.
UMass Boston will take on #2/2 St. Norbert College on Friday at the Herb Brooks Ice Arena in Lake Placid. The game time is still to be announced.