January 1, 2013

Men's Hockey to Host 48th Annual Codfish Bowl

BOSTON, Mass. –Beginning January 5 the UMass Boston men's hockey team will be hosting the 48th Annual  Codfish Bowl sponsored by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. The Beacons who are looking for their first title since 2007, will host the four-team tournament on January 5 and 6 at the Clark Athletic Center Ice Rink.

This year's tournament will be host to four of the most competitive Division III programs in New England, with Fitchburg State University, Johnson & Wales University (R.I.) and Wentworth Institute of Technology joining the Beacons. While Wentworth will be making their first foray in the Codfish Bowl, Johnson & Wales will be making their third appearance and Fitchburg State their 10th.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Saturday, January 5
UMass Boston vs. Wentworth Institute, 1:00 p.m.
Johnson & Wales (home team) vs. Fitchburg State, 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 6
Consolation Game, 1:00 p.m.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

The men's Codfish Bowl tournament is one of the most prestigious Division III tournaments in existence and is the second-oldest college hockey invitational in the country, behind the Beanpot Tournament. After originating at Boston State College in 1965 as a showcase for smaller schools in New England, the tournament took off in the 1970s and UMass Boston began hosting it in 1982.  

The Beacons have been snake-bitten in the tournament winning just three titles in 30 years, despite numerous close losses in the championship game. A year ago, UMass Boston fell 2-1 28 seconds into overtime in the championship game to Tufts University, as the Jumbos netminder Scott Barchard made 42 saves in the victory.

Salem State is the all-time leader in Codfish Bowl Championships with eight titles in 20 appearances, while UMass Boston stands tied for third with five other schools. The past entrants into the Codfish Bowl read as a fantastic history of collegiate hockey in New England, ranging from schools that have moved on to Division I such as UMass Amherst, UMass Lowell and Holy Cross, to schools who have changed names or given up their programs such as North Adams State and Boston State.  

A LOOK AT THIS YEAR'S FIELD

UMass Boston
Location: Boston, Mass.
Conference: ECAC East
Head Coach: Peter Belisle (7th season)
Tournament Appearances/Record: 30/26-32-2
Overall Record: 7-2-1
Conference Record: 3-2-1

The Beacons are looking for the first title since 2007 after losing in the championship game in each of the past three years. In head coach Peter Belisle's six seasons, the Beacons have made it to the championship five times and have outscored their opponents 31-12 in first rounds games. Championship games have been a different story, as Belisle's squads sport a 1-4 record with three one-goal losses, including two overtime defeats.

This year UMass Boston has gotten off to a terrific start running off to a 7-2-1 record, their best mark to begin a season since the 1987-88 campaign. The Beacons earned their first ever national ranking in early December coming in at Number 14 in the D3Hockey.com National Poll, after a pair of conference victories. UMass Boston wrapped up the fall semester on fire with a six-game unbeaten streak that included a P.A.L. Stovepipe Classic Championship.

Offense has been the Beacons calling card this year, as the Beacons stand third nationally in scoring (5.10 goals per game) and second in power-play conversion rate (38.9 percent). First line forwards Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, N.J.) and Mike DeGrazia (Novi, Mich.) have led the way as Daniel paces the team with 20 points and DeGrazia has recorded a team-high 10 goals. Senior defenseman Rob Florentino (West Roxbury, Mass.) is the top-scoring defenseman in the nation with 1.50 points per game and is tied with Daniel for the team lead with 12 assists. In net, freshman Zach Andrews (Coral Springs, Fla.) has seen the majority of the action with a 6-2-1 record, a 3.16 goals against average and an .881 save percentage. 

Wentworth Institute Of Technology
Location: Boston, Mass.
Conference: ECAC Northeast
Head Coach: R.J. Tolan (7th season)
Tournament Appearances/Record: 1st/0-0
Overall Record: 6-5-1

Conference Record: 3-2-0

Wentworth Institute of Technology will make their second Codfish Bowl appearance Saturday, when they take on the Beacons at 1 p.m. In 2010, Wentworth fell to Fitchburg State 8-6 in the first round, before defeating Assumption College 6-1. The Leopards aren't short on tournament experience though, after finishing up their second tournament of the season on New Years Eve. They began the season finishing third in the IC Federal Credit Union Shootout hosted by Fitchburg State, before finishing third in the Middlebury Holiday Classic Monday.

On the season the Leopards are 6-5-1 and 3-2 in conference play. While the Leopards are winless at home, they boast an impressive 5-0-1 mark on the road including a 3-2 win over Middlebury Monday in the Third Place Game of the Middlebury Holiday Classic.

The Leopards offense is predicated on its depth, as 16 different players have found the back of the net to account for their 3.38 goals per game. Underclassmen Devin Cobbold (Ottawa, Ont.) and Kevin Crowe (Galloway, N.J.) lead the team with five goals apiece, while senior captain Shaun Jameson (Long Beach, Calif.) paces all skaters with eight assists and 12 points. Alex Peck (Kirkland, Que.) and Joel Miller (Calgary, Alta.) have split time between the pipes, with Peck making a team-high 118 saves and Miller boasting a team-best 2.40 goals against average.   

Fitchburg State University
Location: Fitchburg, Mass.
Conference: MASCAC
Head Coach: Dean Fuller (28th season)
Tournament Appearances/Record: 5th/6-4
Overall Record: 4-5-1
Conference Record: 3-3-0

The 2010 Codfish Bowl Champions return to the Clark Athletic Center for the first time since hoisting the trophy. The Falcons earned their second championship with a 4-1 victory over the Beacons behind a career-high 58 saves from Bobby Leiser in the victory. Tournament Most Valuable Player Trevor Lawler finished with five points on the weekend, including the game-tying goal in the championship game. The victory helped exact some revenge for Fitchburg State after losing in the championship games in 2007 and 2008. Fitchburg State's only other title came in 2001 in their second appearance, when they downed the Beacons 7-2.

The Falcons have gotten off to a slow start to the 2012-13 season with a 4-5-1 mark and and 3-3 record in conference play. After failing to record a win in their first three games (0-2-1), Fitchburg State went 4-2, before dropping a 1-0 affair at Plymouth State to finish their fall schedule.

Senior forwards Joseph Caveney (Fitchburg, Mass.) and Trevor Lawler (Fitchburg, Mass.) lead a Falcons offense that is averaging 3.6 goals per game. Caveney had recorded a team-high eight goals and 16 points, while Lawler has registered a team-best nine assists and is second with 12 points. The team's roster is made up of eight freshman who see regular time and four seniors who have started all 10 games. In net, junior Randy Wolcott (East Haven, Conn.) ranks in the top 26 nationally in goals against average (2.37) and save percentage (.929), while earning a 4-5-1 record. 

Johnson & Wales University
Location: Providence, R.I.
Conference: ECAC Northeat
Head Coach: Erik Noack (10th season)
Tournament Appearances/Record: 2nd /2-2
Overall Record: 5-7-0
Conference Record: 2-3-0

Johnson & Wales University enters their third Codfish Bowl in four years looking for better results after falling in the first round in each of their first two visits. In 2009 the Wildcats fell 3-1 to UMass Boston, before defeating Southern New Hampshire. Last year, Johnson & Wales fell in an overtime shootout to eventual winner Tufts University, before taking down Southern New Hampshire once again.

It's been a season of streaks for head coach Eric Noack's squad who lost their four games, before running off two winning streaks of two-games or more. The Wildcats wrapped up the fall with a perfect 3-0 December including a 4-3 overtime win over Stonehill College in their final game of 2012.

Johnson & Wales boasts five double-digit scorers this season, led by freshman Daniel Chang (Woodland Hills, Calif.). The former Billings Bull paces the Wildcats in every major offensive category with seven goals, seven assists and 14 points in just 10 games. Three seniors stand second, third and fifth in scoring including Danny Kaufman (Scotch Plains, N.J.) who sits seven points shy of 100 for his career and 100-point scorer Jason Pietrasiak (Shrewsbury, Mass.). Another senior has been the team's top goaltender, as Matt Cooper (Perrysburg, Ohio) has been in net for over 96 percent of the team's minutes. He has made 355 saves in 11 starts and owns an.885 save percentage.