BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Mike Whitehair (Victor, N.Y.) scored the go-ahead goal at 4:51 of the third period as visiting New England College defeated Babson College, 5-3, in New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) action on Friday night at the Babson Skating Center.
With the win, New England College improves to 10-6-1 overall and evens its record at 5-5-1 in league play. Babson, which entered the night riding a seven-game unbeaten streak at home, drops to 9-6-2 overall and 7-3-1 in the NEHC.
Senior Charlie Ackerman (Bradenton, Fla.), classmate Bobby Hall (Westwood, Mass.) and junior Tommy Munichiello (Weymouth, Mass.) all had a goal for the Beavers. Seniors Matt McMorrow (Pearl River, N.Y.) and Ryan Gouveia (Dartmouth, Mass.), junior Matt Brazel (Hingham, Mass.) and first-year Patrick Flynn (Framingham, Mass.) each chipped in with an assist. Junior goaltender Matt Pompa (Palm City, Fla.) finished with 19 saves in the loss.
Junior Connor Fries (Barnstable, Mass.) and sophomore William Riise (Charlottenlund, Denmark) both had a goal and an assist for the Pilgrims, who got 39 saves from senior netminder Kyle Shapiro (Ocean Township, N.J.).
New England College was whistled for a slashing penalty just seven seconds into the contest and the Green and White took advantage when Hall converted a feed from Flynn less than three minutes into the stanza for a 1-0 lead. The Pilgrims answered with Fries' fourth goal of the season from the slot at 6:38, but the Beavers regained the lead just 43 seconds later when Munichiello beat Shapiro with a one-time from between the circles for his second tally of the year.
Babson successfully killed off the final 70 seconds of a holding penalty to begin the second period, but Riise carried the puck the length of the ice before rifling a wrist shot past Pompa to make it 2-2 just 1:35 into the stanza. Despite being outshot 19-7 in the period, the Pilgrims took their first lead of the game when sophomore Keenan Haase (Mission Viejo, Calif.) tipped home a feed from Riise just 1:58 before the second intermission.
The Green and White pulled even when Ackerman poked a rebound past Shapiro 1:42 into the third, but New England College answered again with what proved to be the game-winning goal on Whitehair's one-timer off a feed from behind the net to go back in front 4-3 at the 4:51 mark. Shapiro made six of his 13 third-period stops over the finals six minutes and senior Joe Osaka (Tokyo, Japan) tacked on an empty netter for the Pilgrims with 1:38 to go in the game.
The Beavers finished with a 42-24 edge in shots and both teams went 0-for-4 on the power play.
Both teams return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m. as Babson hosts Southern Maine, while New England College travels to UMass Boston.
• The Beavers are 40-21-6 all-time against New England College.
• Friday's loss marked just the second time this season that Babson has lost when scoring at least three goals, dropping its record to 9-2-1.
• The Green and White is now 3-1-1 at home this season and suffered just its second loss in 25 contests inside the Babson Skating Center (20-2-3) going back to January 22, 2016.
• Ackerman, who returned after missing five consecutive games, has produced eight points in his last seven outings going back to November 20.