2/1/2013 2:54 PM
The UMBC Retrievers ar regular season champions again, sweeping Liberty University and Virginia Tech this past weekend to do so.
Saturday UMBC stopped i Lynchburg, VA to take on Liberty University. Liberty had defeated UMBC 5-2 in Reisterstown back in November so the Retrievers were looking to return the favor. Early in the first period Liberty came down and scored on their first shot of the game to put the home team up 1-0; a 4 on 2 rush yielded a shot in the high slot that beat goaltender Jon Drago (Guttenberg, NJ) high to the glove side. From there UMBC would take over control of play. Alec Hanock (Calabasa, CA) and Matt Kelly (Conway, NH) each scored a goal to give UMBC a 2-1 lead at the intermission.
In the 2nd period the game was much the same, Liberty was hemmed into their own zone as a relentless UMBC forecheck refused to let off the pressure. The Ellicott City Connection line of Matt Bloom, Jean Luc Durantaye and Dan Durantaye (all Ellicott City, MD natives) had 2 points each, with goals from the two Durantaye brothers; extending the lead to 4-1 after two periods of play.
The third period saw Liberty attempt to close the gap, twice cutting the lead to two goals, but a Bloom goal at the 14:20 mark of the 3rd period iced the game and the win for the Retrievers. Drago made 29 saves in the winning effort.
The next day UMBC made the trip South to Roanoke to take on Virginia Tech with an opportunity to clinch the division title on Senior day for the Hokies.
UMBC started the game controlling the puck almost entirely in the offensive zone, not allowing a shot on goal against until 8 minutes into the game and already up 1-0. Bloom gave UMBC that lead when he deflected at Kelly shot past the Hokie goaltender at the 7:41 mark. Jarred Padgett (Milrift, PA) then extended that lead to 2-0 when he collected a rebound and outwaited the goaltender before putting the puck in the net at the14:52 mark. The first period would end by that 2-0 score.
After the intermission UMBC kept on the offensive, Bloom added his second goal of the game on the power play at the 6:50 mark when his shot from the point found the back of the net. Virginia Tech would refuse to roll over as they then applied pressure to the Retrievers. Virginia Tech then found themselves on the power play and converted to cut the lead to 3-1 entering the locker room after two periods of play.
In the third, Virginia Tech stormed out of the locker room, holding UMBC without a shot on goal for the first 10 minutes of the frame. At the 2:26 mark, the Hokies cut the lead to one goal when they converted off a defensive zone turnover by UMBC. Then on a power play opportunity, the Retrievers found themselves in a tied game when a point shot was deflected multiple times in front and found the back of the net at the 14:41 mark. The game wouldnt stay tied for long, only 28 seconds in fact, as the "Munchkin Line" of Hanock, O'Connor, and Zac Tracy (Marriotsville, MD), worked the puck down low and O'Connor buried a rebound to put UMBC back on top by a score of 4-3. Virginia Tech applied pressure in the waning minutes, but UMBC held on for the victory.
Drago made 31 saves for the victory. UMBC finshed the regular season with an 8-2-0 record in MACH play, making Coach Aaron Voegtli's record at UMBC in MACH play 36-3-0. It is the fourth consecutive regular season division championship for the Retrievers.