BOSTON, Mass. – Salve Regina's Erik Udahl scored with 11 seconds remaining to lift the 20th-ranked Seahawks past #7/9 UMass Boston men's hockey 3-2 in the 53rd Annual Codfish Bowl Championship Game.
#20 Salve Regina 3, #7/9 UMass Boston 2
(UMass Boston 11-4)
(Salve Regina 10-3-2)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Seahawks earned their second-straight Codfish Bowl Title by an identical score over the Beacons, to become only the second program to win in their first two appearances.
The Championship game had a frenetic pace in the opening frame, with the Beacons landing three huge hits and earning two scoring chances within the first two minutes.
Jack Riley (Wrentham, Mass.) took charge for the Beacons, leading all skaters in the first period with 4 SOG.
Salve Regina failed to convert on their first power play opportunity, but capitalized on the momentum and hemmed the Beacons down in their end for a long stretch in the first.
UMass conceded the opening goal on Salve Regina's second powerplay chance in the period, with Pat Thompson roofing a loose puck after a scrum in front of Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.).
After successfully killing off an early penalty in the second period, the Beacons conceded the game's second goal, a rocket from Vincenzo Renda, off of a centering pass by Nick Cyr. Following the Seahawks' second tally, the Beacons went on the counterattack, pressuring the Salve Regina defenders again down low with their forecheckers.
UMass Boston outshot Salve Regina in the second stanza 21-7, marking the fourth time this season they have had 20+ shots in a single period.
The Beacons' forecheck finally paid off at 18:02 of the second period, when Justin Holliday (Akron, OH) grabbed a rebound down low and muscled it past Blake Wojtala (Trenton, Mich.). Holliday's tally was his first of the season, with Dakota Keene (Poland, Maine) and Garrett Gallagher (Aston, Pa.).
The third period got off to the same frantic pace as the first, with both teams trading scoring chances down low.
With 8:43 remaining in the third period, Riley scooped up Tyler Sifferlen's (North Andover, Mass.) rebound and backhanded it past Wojtala, knotting the game up at 2.
In the final minute of regulation, Udahl exploded up the left wing, past the Beacons' defense and rang the puck past MacBurnie's shoulder for a 3-2 edge. Salve Regina held on for the remaining 11.9 seconds to clinch their second consecutive Codfish Bowl Championship.
The Seahawks are the second team to win titles in each of their first two years, joining Boston State College that won each of the first five titles in the history of the Codfish Bowl (1965-69).
BY THE NUMBERS
- The Beacons outshot the Seahawks 43-28, including 33-19 over the final two frames. The Beacons also earned a 52-35 edge in face-offs.
- Colin Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) led all skaters in faceoffs, winning 17 of 31.
- Salve Regina extends their win streak to 4 games, and are unbeaten in their past 6 games.
- Blake Wojtala, who was named MVP for a second-straight year, has held opponents to 2 goals or fewer in his past 6 starts. In four Codfish Bowl starts, he has made 153 saves on 161 shots after making 41 saves on 43 shots today.
- The Beacons third line of Riley, Sifferlen and David MacGregor (Asuza, Calif.) combined for five goals and six assists on the weekend.
- Riley and John Regnart (Anchorage, Alaska) were each named to the Codfish Bowl All-Tournament Team. Udahl and sophomore Jack Billings joined Wojtala on the All-Tournament Team for Salve Regina.
UMass Boston travels to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. on Friday January 12 to play Skidmore College at 7 p.m.
Release Courtesy of UMass Boston's Raymond Waldron