(With contributions from Babson College Sports Information)
BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Senior Dan Rautenberg (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) scored a pair goals in the second period as the sixth-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies defeated the third-seeded Babson College Beavers, 2-1, Saturday night in a quarterfinal round game of the 2012 ECAC Men's East Championship Tournament at the Babson Skating Center.
The win was the Huskies' third of the season against the Beavers. The Huskies swept the regular season series downing the Beavers 6-0 at USM in December, and 3-1 two weeks ago at Babson. The Huskies, 4-1-2 in their last seven games, improved to 10-10-6 overall and will face top-seeded Norwich University in a semifinal game next Friday. Norwich won its quarterfinal game against eighth-seeded University of New England, 5-0.
The third-seeded Beavers finished the season 9-13-4 overall. In their last 12 games following a 3-11-0 start, the Beavers were 6-2-4 with both losses coming at the hands of the Huskies.
Freshman Mike Driscoll (Milton, Mass.) gave the hosts an early 1-0 lead converting a set up from classmate Andrew Bonazza (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) and senior Mike Hoban (Medfield, Mass.) into his team-leading 10th goal of the season at 3:23 of the first period.
The Beavers would carry the play throughout the opening period out shooting the Huskies 15-1, but were unable to slip the puck past USM sophomore goalie Braely Torris (Eckville, Alberta).
Rautenberg scored his first goal of the game taking a loose puck to break in alone and beat Babson junior goaltender Zeke Testa (Wellesley, Mass.) for his ninth goal of the campaign. Junior Kevin Smith (Auburn, Maine) sparked the play by poke checking the puck away from a Babson player in the neutral zone.
Thirteen minutes later, Rautenberg scored a power-play goal on a slap shot from the left point to give the Huskies a 2-1 advantage. Junior Jon Grandinetti (Ottawa, Ontario) and sophomore Mike Greene (Arvada, Colo.) picked up the assists.
Torris protected the lead over the final 25 minutes and finished the game stopping 28 of 29 shots. The second-year netminder made a magnificent glove save on a shot headed for the upper right corner by sophomore Troy Starrett (Bellingham, Mass.) with just under five minutes to play in the second period. Babson threatened again in the final 30 seconds, but Bonazza's wrist shot from the left faceoff circle went just over the crossbar.
The Beavers' best chance of the third period came three and a half minutes in, but Torris denied sophomore Matt O'Neill's (Norwell, Mass.) slapper, but failed to corral the rebound. He then made a brilliant kick save on junior Jay Haseley's (Rochester, N.Y.) follow-up bid to keep the Huskies in front.
Testa made 16 saves before being lifted with 1:04 to play in favor of the extra attacker, but the Beavers were unable to get a shot on goal.