Maine Hockey Journal

USM hits the skids, ousted from playoffs

The fifth-seeded Skidmore College men’s ice hockey team scored five unanswered goals to rally from a two-goal deficit and defeat the fourth-seeded University of Southern Maine, 6-3, in an ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) Men’s East quarterfinal round game Saturday night at the USM Ice Arena.

The victory sends the Thoroughbreds (9-15-2) into next weekend’s semifinal round against second-seeded Babson College. Babson defeated the University of Massachusetts Boston in its quarterfinal round game, 4-2. Top-seeded Norwich University faces sixth-seeded New England College in the other semifinal game, and will host the semifinal and final rounds. Southern Maine finishes the season 10-13-3.

Southern Maine took a 3-1 lead at 1:06 of the second period on a goal by freshman David Nies (Brookline, Mass.) before the roof caved in. Less than a minute later, sophomore Tyler Doremus (Aspen, Colo.) ignited the Skidmore comeback with his 10th goal of the season. Rookie Brendan Cottam (Belmont, Mass.) got the equalizer on the second of three Skidmore power-play goals at 4:08.

Junior Alex Mykolenko (Kharkiv, Ukraine) scored what proved to be the game winner at 8:44, taking a long pass from senior Matt Czerkowicz (Blackstone, Mass.) and skated in alone on USM sophomore goalie Mason St. Hilaire (Saco, Maine) for a shorthanded tally. Before the period ended, rookie Julian Malakorn (Warwick, R.I.) would net the Thoroughbreds third power-play goal to give the visitors a 5-3 lead.

Senior Chris Webb (Holliston, Mass.) had the only goal of the third period for Skidmore, coming one second after a power play expired. Skidmore finished the game converting on 3-of-4 extra man situations while killing all five Southern Maine power plays.

Freshman Ryan Boucher (Lewiston, Maine) gave USM a 1-0 at 5:56 of the opening period with his second goal of the season. Junior Joe Melnyk (Rotterdam, N.Y.) tied the score for Skidmore at 9:30, but USM quickly regained the lead when junior Zach Joy (Dover, N.H.) tallied his team-leading 20th goal of the season at 10:09.

Sophomore Andrew Ross (McKinney, Texas) got the starting nod in goal for Skidmore and registered 29 saves to get the win. The start was just his fourth of the season. St. Hilaire recorded 16 saves over the first two periods before giving way to freshman Tim Gerrish (Albany, N.Y.) who made 11 saves in the third period.

(Courtesy of USM)

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