Maine Hockey Journal

Valiants double up USM, 4-2, in semifinal action

Babson Park, Mass. — Senior Kevin Maresco (Lynnfield, Mass.) scored one goal and assisted two others to help lead the Manhattanville College Valiants to a 4-2 victory over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in the semifinal round of the sixth annual Babson Invitational Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament presented by Irving Oil on Saturday afternoon.

With the win, Manhattanville (3-2-1) advances to tomorrow’s championship game at 4:00 p.m., while Southern Maine (2-2-0) will play in the Consolation Game at 1:00 p.m.

Manhattanville got on the board late in the first period after Southern Maine was whistled for a penalty with 58 seconds remaining in the period. On the ensuing power play, Huskies’ senior goalie Jamie Gilbert (Lewiston, Maine) made a nice save on sophomore Mickey Lang’s (Hillsdale, N.J.) tipped shot in front, but Maresco collected the rebound near the right post and tucked it in for the
game’s first goal at 19:49.

Southern Maine tied the game at 6:11 of the second, as sophomore Zach Joy (Dover, N.H.) tipped a shot by classmate Jon Rutt (Scarborough, Maine) past Valiants’ sophomore goalie Sergiy Sorokolat (Kharkiv, Ukraine).

However, Manhattanville retook the lead just 16 seconds later, as junior Dillon Henningson (Edmonton, Alberta) put back a rebound of Maresco’s shot at 16:27 to give his team a 2-1 advantage. The Valiants would tack on another goal before the end of the period, as junior Matt Piegza (Chicago, Ill.) one-timed a feed from Maresco inside the left post at 14:28 to give Manhattanville a 3-1
lead after two.

The Huskies pulled back to within one when junior Brett Kapteina (Stamford, Conn.) scored off a rebound on a power play at 1:12 of the third to make it a 3-2 contest. However, just seconds after a USM power play expired late in the session, Manhattanville netted a huge insurance goal when junior Niklas Berntsson (Gothenburg, Sweden) converted a breakaway pass from Piegza with 1:09
remaining, resulting in the 4-2 Valiants victory.

Gilbert kept Southern Maine close with a tremendous effort in net, finishing with 40 saves. Sorokolat turned away eight shots in goal for Manhattanville.

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