BABSON PARK, Mass. – For the first time in program history, Coast Guard earned a share of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season title, as the Bears topped Babson 8-6 Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Coast Guard improves to 13-3 on the season and 6-1 in the conference. The Beavers fall to 9-6 overall and 6-1 in the NEWMAC.
Junior Benner Geurtsen became the third player in program history to score 100 career points for the Bears finishing the game with two goals and two assists. Sophomore Riley McNulty had a goal and two assists while senior Matt Huemme, junior Anthony Wyler and freshman Will Iorio all finished with a goal and an assist.
Babson was led by sophomore Owen Allen who netted two goals. Senior Connor Maloney, junior Samuel Mishkind and freshmen Jack Tague and Mason O'Hanlon each finished with a goal.
The first quarter was a defensive affair with the two goalies combining for seven saves.
Babson was able to take the early lead as Allen scored an unassisted goal with just over seven minutes remaining in the first.
Coast Guard answered, taking advantage of a man-up opportunity as Huemme found Wyler for his first goal of the game.
The Beavers however took the lead going into the second period as freshman Ethan Carpenter found Mishkind on the doorstep for the 2-1 lead with 57 second left in the first quarter.
The Bears offense came alive in the second period, outscoring Babson 4-0 in the quarter. McNulty and Geurtsen each had a goal and an assist while the Coast Guard defense caused six turnovers and only allowed four shots.
After Babson opened the second half with a goal from Maloney, the Bears pushed their lead back to three late in the third as Geurtsen found Iorio with a pass in front of the cage making the score 6-3.
The Beavers quickly cut back into the Coast Guard lead as they won the next face-off and pushed it to goal where Allen took a pass from sophomore Kevin Klempner on the right side and fired home a bounce shot for the final goal of the third quarter making the score 6-4 heading into the final quarter.
Babson continued to keep the momentum at the start of the fourth as long pole Tague picked up the face-off and ran in on goal and fired it home for his first goal of his career making the Bears lead just one (6-5).
Coast Guard pushed the lead back to two as the shot clock clicked under 10, McNulty darted a pass to Huemme on the left side who rifled it into the right corner with 13:02 remaining in the game.
The Bears extended their lead to three once again as Wyler connected with Geurtsen for his second goal of the game and the 8-5 lead with just under 12 minutes remaining.
Babson managed one more goal to close within two with 8:04 remaining but could not get any closer as Coast Guard closed out the 8-6 win.
Johnson (12-3) allowed five goals and made 10 saves for his career high 12thwin this season. Johnson continues to the lead the NEWMAC with a 6.36 goals-against average which is also 15thin Division III.
Sophomore Christopher Aranalde (5-6) allowed six goals while making nine saves in the Beavers first conference loss of the season.
Both Babson and Coast Guard will be back in action on Wednesday May 2nd, in the semi-finals of the NEWMAC Tournament. Seeding will be determined later this evening as the conference office will break the three-way tie for first between Coast Guard, Babson and Springfield at the conclusion of all the regular season games today.