BUZZARDS BAY, Mass – The Bucs played their home conference opener on Wednesday night against Clark. Both teams came in to the game 0-1 in conference and at the end of the night, the Buccaneers remained winless in the NEWMAC, falling to the Cougars 12-10.
Buccaneer Junior attacker Ben Avakian (Bourne, Mass) led all scorers with five goals in the game. Avakina took an astounding 25 shots in the game, 12 of which were on target. Sophomore Alex Lucas (Walpole, Mass) scored four times on four shots on goal and had an assist in the game. Junior midfielder Michael O'Brien (Marshfield, Mass) scored once for the Bucs. Midfielder Colby Unterstein (Ellington, Conn) recorded a game high two assists in the game. Defensively, senior defenseman Andrew Cook (Quincy, Mass) caused two turnovers in the game and picked up three ground balls. In goal, senior captain Mike Dolan (McLean, Va) made 14 saves on 26 shots and allowed the 12 Cougar goals.
For Clark, Bobby Philbin (Ridgefield, Conn) scored a team high four times on five shots on target. Philbin also too kthe majority of the face-offs for the Cougars, of which they won 22 of 26. Philbin collected a game high 11 ground balls off of those face-offs. Junior Chris Rasco (Huntington, N.Y.) netted three goals. Jack Mandracchia (Melrose, Mass) scored twice and three other Cougars scored to round out their 12 goals. In Goal, started Nathan Maselek (Marblehead, Mass) earned the win making five saves on 12 shots faces, allowing seven goals. He was relieved by Thomas Berzok (East Brunswick, N.J.) in the third quarter. Berzok allowed three goals and made four saves on seven shots faced.
Philbin wasted almost no time getting the visitors on the board, winning the opening faceoff and scoring within the first five second of the game. Clark scored three more goals to take a 4-0 lead just after the 10 minute mark of the first quarter. Down 4-0, the Bucs found some momentum and went on a 4-0 scoring run of their own to tie the game up, closing out the first quarter of play with three goals and opening the second with another three minutes in.
Now 4-4 with 12 minutes to go before half time, each team scored a goal before the break, Rasco scoring his second of the half, both of which came on man-up opportunities. Avakian scored his third of the game with just under a minute remaining in the second. The teams went to the break tied at five.
Coming out of the break, Lucas scored to give the Buccaneers their first lead of the game. Four minute later, Avakian scored to give the Bucs a two goal lead. Philbin and Avakian each scord another goal before the third period closed and the Buccaneers has a two-goal lead going to the final 15 minutes.
The fourth quarter was the highest scoring period of the game with eight goals scored in total, six of which were scored by the Cougars. The Bucs, much like in the first quarter, had a tough time breaking through the stout Clark defense to find the back of the net though they did have a 10-9 lead with five minutes to play. In those final five minutes, Mandracchia scored his two goals of the game and Jack Pierce (Westborough, Mass) scored his lone goal of the night which proved to be the game winner. The Cougars left Taylor's Point with a 12-10 win to improve to 1-1 in conference on the season.
Up next for the Bucs is a NEWMAC showdown with MIT on Saturday night in Buzzards Bay at 7pm.