Baldino registers first collegiate hat trick as hockey wins

by Arpeni Mael, Editor-In-Chief

The men’s ice hockey team returned to Hetland Ice Arena to host their second home game of the season against the Plymouth State Panthers.

The Corsairs also hosted Military Appreciation Night, an idea started by teammate Hunter Wilhoite who does ROTC at Providence College.

He brought up the idea to Coach Noack and Director of Athletics, Amanda Van Voorhis.

“They thought it was a great idea and behind it 100%. They wanted to get the word out into the community and get veterans out there, and to do something nice for the community.”

“I thought it would be a good way to honor the veterans and show support for what they do,” said Wilhoite. “It got us all pumped, not only to play for our teammates but to play for out nation’s heroes.”

The first period went scoreless as UMass Dartmouth doubled their shot totals and converted twice.

In the second period, senior captain Matt Baldino, put the Corsairs on the board first. Casey Shea and Mike Kelly helped assist on their first power-play opportunity.

Four minutes later, the Panthers tied the score. But it didn’t take long for Mike Sones to steal a pass from the visiting team and skate it back to the other direction.

He beat the goalkeeper, Thierry Messervier, for an unassisted tally.

Plymouth State took their first lead of the night with consecutive goals.

They had a 3-2 advantage when Erik Strom opened the third period with a power-play goal.

Baldino was back to tie the game again on a Corsair extra-man opportunity.

The back-and-forth affair continued when Plymouth State’s Stevens converted a breakaway for a shorthanded goal with four minutes left in the third period.

Fifteen seconds later, Shea would score again off a pass from Jerry Laakso and Kelly. With the game tied at 4-4, they headed into overtime.

In the next five minutes, Plymouth State fired four shots and held UMass Dartmouth to none.

With 1:54 left in the period, Stevens found the back of the net, signaling the end of the game and a win for the Panthers.

The Corsairs were able to convert on half their power play chances for the evening, while Plymouth State found the net on just one of their seven chances.

UMass Dartmouth has killed 13 of its opponents’ 17 power play chances, while scoring on six of its 14 opportunities in just two conference games.

Baldino registered the second multi-goal game of his career, both of which were against Plymouth State.

Goalkeeper Drew Michals surpassed the 30-save mark for his third-consecutive game. He registered 33 stops including 13 in the third period.

UMass Dartmouth traveled to Westfield State on November 12 to continue on their MASCAC play.

The Corsairs found their way to board three minutes into the opening period when Connor Court received the puck from Baldino in the corner.

UMass Dartmouth’s defense stepped up as they killed off two five-on-three advantages for Westfield State.

Michals made a save by swiping the puck off the goal line to help keep the Corsairs 1-0 lead.

The lead extended to 2-0 when Connor Cooley scored his first collegiate goal, assisted by Kyle Zacharewicz.

In the second period, Nik Passero found his way to the net as he beat Michals top stick side to cut the Corsairs lead in half on the power play.

It was the closest that the Owls would get for the remainder of the game.

Sones scored his team-leading fourth power play goal of the season on a five-on-three advantage for the Corsairs. Laakso and Kelly helped assist.

The Corsairs added more to their goal streak when Baldino scored his first goal of the night.

In the third period, Baldino scored his second goal with a one-timer into the top corner of the net on one knee as the power play for UMass Dartmouth ticked down.

To complete his hat trick, Baldino picked off the Owl pass in the neutral zone and scored for the short-handed score.

“It was a pretty surreal feeling,” said Baldino. “It makes it easy when you have teammates with the ability to find [you] in the rights spots at the right time.”

Michals turned aside 39 shots en-route to his second win on the season.

In the four games that the Corsairs have played this season, he has registered 30 plus saves in every game.

Goalkeeper Jonathan LoParco for the Owls made 25 saves between the pipes, despite taking the 6-2 loss.

The Corsairs will continue their travel road trip as they take on Assumption College on November 16.


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