March 7, 2014 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Vermont Advances With Late Goal

2 OT Games as Atlantic Playoffs Begin

CHN Staff Report

Robert Morris' Matt Cope celebrates his goal in the Colonials' 8-4 win.

Robert Morris' Matt Cope celebrates his goal in the Colonials' 8-4 win.

Connor Brickley finished a centering pass from senior linemate Anthony DeCenzo with just 1:07 remaining in regulation to lift No. 7 seed Vermont to a 2-1 win over Massachusetts. The loss eliminates UMass in this year's single-elimination first-round Hockey East playoff format.

The Catamounts kept their NCAA hopes alive, and advance to the HEA quarterfinals next weekend against either No. 2 seed Massachusetts-Lowell or No. 3 seed Providence.

Early in the second period, Massachusetts took the lead on a goalmouth scramble. Vermont's Brody Hoffman denied Steven Iacobellis at the left post, but Troy Power stuffed the loose puck into the back of the net to open the scoring.

Vermont finally answered with less than three minutes left in the second. Jake Fallon took a feed from Colin Markison and skated into the Minutemen zone down the right wing. Fallon dropped a pass to the right point, and Michael Paliotta stepped into a one-timer that beat Steve Mastalerz (24 saves) blocker side.

The teams played to a stale mate for most of the third period as the game remained tied into the closing minutes. DeCenzo collected the puck behind the UMass net and fed a pass outside the left post for Brickley. The forward's one-timer beat Mastalerz short side and trickled over the goal line for the game-winner.

The Minutemen pulled Mastalerz with a minute left for an extra skater. Frank Vatrano, playing in his first college game after a year and a half battling NCAA regulations and transfer rules, had a quality chance from the right circle, but UVM deflected the puck away before he could get off a shot.

Atlantic Hockey playoffs

Canisius started its attempt to defend its Atlantic Hockey tournament crown with a 3-0 win over Sacred Heart. Tony Capobianco stopped all 27 shots he faced, including 12 in the third period.

Capobianco became the school’s all-time leader in saves and shutouts in the win. The senior stopped all 27 shots he saw to raise his career total to 2,839 – 10 more than the previous standard held by Dan Morrison. He also recorded his seventh career shutout to break a mark that he shared with Bryan Worosz and Andrew Loewen.

“It was a hard, physical battle that we’re going to focus on repeating tomorrow night,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “It took each player competing at maximum effort to get a great victory and I’ll look for more of the same tomorrow as we try to advance to the next round.”

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Cody Wydo scored his 24th and 25th goals of the year, and Robert Morris used a six-goal second period to defeat Army, 8-4, in the teams' playoff opener. Wydo's first goal of the game, at 9:21 of the second period, was the eventual game winner and made it 5-1 at the time, chasing Army goalie Parker Gahagen. Tanner Creel relieved and allowed three more goals on 34 additional shots.

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RIT defeated Holy Cross in overtime on a goal by Brad McGowan at 13:23.

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Dan Kolenda scored the game's only goal in the second overtime as Niagara defeated American International for a 1-0 series lead.

Niagara’s Jackson Teichroeb took home the win, and his third shutout of the season, with 38 stops.

“It was a busy night for both goaltenders.  They stole the show,” Niagara coach Dave Burkholder said. “Teichroeb has been great for us down the stretch.  If he can play like that tomorrow we’re in good shape.”

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