WESTFIELD – Zach Hepler scored the game-winning goal on a power play early in the second period to lift UMass-Dartmouth to a 2-1 victory over Westfield State University in an early-season MASCAC ice hockey showdown Thursday.
The Corsairs improved to 3-1-2 overall and 2-0-1 in the MASCAC, while Westfield (6-2, 3-1) sustained its first conference setback.
The Owls had a grand opportunity to score in the game’s final three minutes but the UMass Dartmouth defense
Westfield’s Nic Vidoni’s and Mass Dartmouth goalie Ryan Williams battle for puck possession.
played well. The Corsairs were hit with tripping and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties with 3:03 remaining in regulation. But the Owls were unable to score on the 5-on-3 power play as the Corsairs blocked numerous shots and cleared the puck several times.
In addition, Westfield pulled its goalie in the final minute but was still unable to light the lamp.
Westfield took a 1-0 lead early in the second stanza on a goal in front of the net by Nic Vidoni.
The Owls also appeared to have scored seconds later when Lucas Romero snuck the puck inside the right post. Spectators near the net stated the puck crossed the goal line but UMass Dartmouth goalie Ryan Williams made a quick swipe with his glove for one of this 39 saves as the referee signaled no goal.
The Corsairs knotted the score four minutes later on a shot from the left faceoff circle by Dave McDonald. Hepler’s game-winning goal came 3:21 into the third period.
Westfield outshot UMass Dartmouth, 40-24, including a 15-4 edge in the second period. Owl goalie Eddie Davey made 22 saves.