Maine Hockey Journal

UNE fall short in inaugural NCAA game

Biddeford, ME — The University of New England men’s ice hockey team began their inaugural season in NCAA Division-III with a 3-2 loss to Salve Regina University in non-conference action at Biddeford Ice Arena on Friday night.

UNE made the jump to D-III, joining ECAC East, after playing the last several years as a club team in the Northeast Collegiate Hockey Association.

UNE head coach Brad Holt admitted that his team looked like it was their first game at a higher level, especially in the first period.

“We looked like it was our first game… We’re right we’re we want to be. We have a long way to go, but we’re headed in the right direction,” he said.

Salve Regina grabbed a 1-0 lead a little over a minute into the game with a power play goal from Patrick Bambery after whistled a tough angle shot by UNE netminder Dallas Ungurian.

The power play came courtesy of a protocol violation because UNE failed to take the ice within the appropriate time.

“Talk about destiny, in our first NCAA game, we start off with a protocol penalty. We didn’t get out to the ice on time,” said Holt. “That something the coaching staff has to take responsibility for.”

At 5:18 in the second period, Salve Regina made it 2-0 when Joe Colaianni finished off a 3-on-1 rush, lifting a backhander over Ungurian.

Freshman forward Jake Moscatel scored the first goal for UNE since graduating to D-III when he picked up the loose puck from Scott McManaman, snapping a shot over the blocker of Salve Regina goalie Ben Bradley, cutting the lead, 2-1, at 7:39 of the second period.

Holt made a goalie change at 10:39 of the second period, in favor of Mike Roper.

“It really gave us a look at the guys we’re going to go with….We feel pretty confident with both of them. I think in this league with Friday night, Saturday afternoon games we need to have two guys you can count on,” said Holt.

At 13:47, UNE tied the score at 2-2 on a goal by Tim Margiotta

McManaman stoled the puck from Tyler Trott behind the net, sending a quick pass to Margiotta, in the slot, as he drilled a quick shot by Bradley.

UNE had several great chances to take the lead in the closing minutes of the second period and in the third period, but Salve Regina regained the lead at 14:15 of the final period when Nathaniel Burns tipped Billy Sabia shot from the point through a screen by Roper, taking a 3-2 lead.

UNE had 41 shots on the night and controlled the play for most of the night, leaving Holt feeling comfortable with his team in their early stages of playing NCAA D-III hockey.

“I just told the team I’m delighted with the effort. They worked really hard, now I don’t think we worked together that well, but we worked hard,” he said.

Mike Roper took the loss for UNE, making 16 saves on the night, while Dallas Ungurian stopped 13 of 15 shots. Ben Bradley stopped 41 of 43 shots he faced for the victory.

UNE went 0-for-6 on the power play, while Salve Regina were 1-for-6 on the night.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply