Falcons/Corsairs looking to secure second MASCAC Tournament Championship
Fitchburg, Mass. – The second seeded Falcons of Fitchburg State University will host the fourth seeded Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth on Saturday, March 3rd at 7:30 P.M. at the Wallace Civic Center for the 2018 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Championship.
Fitchburg State split the three games with UMass Dartmouth this season (1-1-1) with the two teams skating to a 4-4 over time draw in the first meeting on October 31, 2017 before the Corsairs registered a 4-2 victory in the second game (1/6/18). The Falcons picked up a 6-3 victory in the final meeting on February 1st.
This Saturday's contest with mark the 75th meeting all-time between the two schools on the ice with the Falcons 28-39-7 all-time when taking on the Corsairs.
How They Got Here
Fitchburg State comes into the contest having won eight of its last ten contests, including a 5-2 win over the sixth seeded Vikings of Salem State in semifinal round action of the 2018 MASCAC Ice Hockey post-season tournament, while UMass Dartmouth enters Saturday's match unbeaten in its last four games (3-0-1), including a 3-1 triumph over the top seeded Panthers of Plymouth State University in the other semifinal round matchup on Tuesday evening.
Players To Watch
The Falcons are led by junior forward Nick DiNicola (Wolcott, Conn.) with a team-leading 45 points on 11 goals and 34 assists, while freshman forward Sascha Figi (Kloten, Switzerland) has added a team-best 21 markers and 18 helpers for 39 points on the season.
In net, the duo of junior Kirby Saari (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) and freshman Brian McGrath (Worcester, Mass.) have spilt time for the Green and Gold, combining for 947 saves to go along with a 2.85 goals against average and a .927 save percentage.
For the Corsairs, junior forward Jonathan Ruiz (Williamstown, N.J.) has paved the way with a team-best 45 points on 27 scores and 18 assists, while senior Casey Shea (Woburn, Mass.) has chipped in with 12 goals and a team-leading 27 helpers on the year.
In goal, senior Drew Michals (Newton, Mass.) has stopped 715 shots with an .885 save percentage and a 3.88 goals against average, while logging 1454:52 minutes of action for UMass Dartmouth.
The winner of Saturday's contest will earn the conference's automatic berth into the upcoming 2018 NCAA DIII Ice Hockey National Championship Tournament.