Top Four Seeds Advance To NEHC Postseason Tournament Semifinals

MARSHFIELD, Mass. The New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) wrapped up an exciting round of quarterfinal action this past weekend and despite some close contests saw all four high seeds advance to the semifinal round.

Top-seeded Norwich University will host four-seed University of Massachusetts Boston and second-seed Hobart College will welcome three-seed Babson College on Saturday evening.

In the first overtime game of the weekend eighth-seeded Castleton University gave defending champions and number one overall seed Norwich all they could handle before falling 2-1 in double overtime. Cam Beecy (Stowe, Vt.) scored the game-tying goal for Norwich just over halfway through the third period. Todd Jackson (Holly Springs, N.C.) played hero, scoring the game-winner just over three minutes into the second overtime period. Coby Downs (Montclair, Calif.) led all Norwich skaters with two points as he notched assists on both NU goals.

The Statesmen were once again an offensive juggernaut as they posted eight goals from six different skaters to defeat University of Southern Maine, 8-0. Ryan Lynch (Milford, Conn.) got the scoring started just over six minutes into the game. Julien Denicourt (Bromont, Que.) and Matt Pizzo (Thorold, Ont.) led Hobart on offense with three points apiece.

The other double overtime contest of the weekend saw a back-and-forth battle between Skidmore College and Babson, which ultimately saw the Beavers claiming the 3-2 victory. Zach Phelps (Manorville, Pa.) scored the game-tying goal for Babson eight minutes into the third period. Skidmore's Brandon Kasel (Ithaca, N.Y.) kept Babson's offense at bay, posting 11 saves in the first overtime period and adding another three in the second overtime before Matt Brazel (Hingham, Mass.) ripped home the game-winner. Babson's Matt Pompa (Palm City, Fla.) recorded 43 saves in the winning effort between the pipes.

New England College and UMass Boston traded goals throughout the game in the four vs. five bout. Joe Osaka (Tokyo, Japan) tied the game for NEC at 3 apiece just two minutes into the third period. With just over three minutes left in regulation UMB's Nolan Redler (Winchester, Mass.) sent home the game winner off a pass from Zack Bross (St. Louis, Mo.). Redler would seal the game with an empty-net tally just two minutes later to send his team to the semifinal round.

Three Stick Taps

- Castleton's senior goaltender, Ryan Mulder, ended his collegiate career with a game to remember, stopping 49 shots to keep the Spartans within striking distance of the top-seeded Cadets.

- The Beacons' top line of Nolan Redler, Colin Larkin and Zack Bross turned it up a notch for the postseason. The trio combined for eight points against the Pilgrims.

- NEHC newcomers, Hobart College, lived up to the regular season hype reeling off a remarkable eight goals in their first NEHC postseason contest.

NEHC Semifinals Schedule Saturday, February 25

#4 UMass Boston at #1 Norwich 7pm
#3 Babson at #2 Hobart 7pm