BOSTON, Mass.—Behind two points from Evan Rochowiak (Livonia, Mich.) and 31 saves from Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.), #8/8 UMass Boston downed Tufts University to earn a spot in the 54th Annual Codfish Bowl Championship Game.
#8/8 UMass Boston 3, Tufts 1
(UMass Boston 12-2)
(Tufts University 4-6)
HOW IT HAPPENED
In a rematch of the 47th Codfish Bowl Title Game, UMass Boston struck for three goals in the first thirty minutes and then used a strong-defensive effort to knock off the visiting Jumbos.
With the win, UMass Boston will take on the winner of first-time entrants SUNY Cortland and Bryn Athyn College on Saturday at 4 p.m in the title game. Tufts will play the loser of Friday's second semifinal on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the consolation game.
Rochowiak was the offensive hero for the Beacon on Friday, as the freshman forward set-up the first goal, before recording his first collegiate goal to make it 3-0.
In net, MacBurnie continued his excellent junior campaign with 31 saves on 32 shots. The junior netminder came up especially huge in the first and third periods, when Tufts was able to keep pace with the Beacons. MacBurnie made nine saves in each of the first two periods, before stopping all 13 shots he faced in the third.
Tufts University sophomore Drew Hotte recorded 34 saves on 37 shots to fall to 3-6 on the season.
Jumbos freshman forward Justin Brandt tallied the lone goal for Tufts, when he scored with just less than two minutes left in the second period.
Tufts held the early advantage in the first period, as they peppered MacBurnie with three shots on the second shift of the game and continued to create good chances against a physical Beacons side.
UMass Boston turned the tide slightly, when Bross gave the hosts a 1-0 lead five minutes into the game. Nick Albano's (Beverly, Mass.) shot from the point was deflected on it's way towards goal by Nolan Redler *(Winchester, Mass.) and Hotte couldn't hold onto the rebound. The puck fell to Rochowiak who collected the puck and then from below the goal line left a drop pass through his legs to a wide-open Bross, with Bross easily able to score into the empty-net.
Neither side could wrestle control of the contest the rest of the period, with Tufts styming the Beacons breakout by getting sticks into passing lanes.
UMass Boston came out with a lot more energy to start the second period and dominated the first 18 minutes of the stanza.
Nitkin doubled the Beacons lead just 14 seconds into the period. After the Beacons won the opening face-off and drew an offensive-zone draw, Nachbaur won the face-off back to Nitkin and he sent a low shot that slipped just inside the near post.
The Beacons pinned the Jumbos in their own end for minutes at a time during the period and pushed their lead to 3-0 at 9:59. Nachbaur skated the puck into the zone and went out wide to the near boards, before placing a perfect centering pass onto Rochowiak's stick for a one-time poke, that went through Hotte's pads. Senior Garrison Sanipass (Northbrook, Ill.) picked up the secondary assist on the play.
After dominating the period, UMass Boston let the Jumbos back into the game in the final two minutes. Brandt was left wide-open at the back door for a one-timer that MacBurnie stopped, but the Beacons couldn't clear the puck. Less than 30 seconds later, Anthony Farinacci slipped past a defender from behind the net and fed a wide-open Brandt for a one-timer goal. Angus Scott earned the second assist on the play.
The Jumbos drew a penalty with 29 seconds left in the period, to gain even more momentum going into the third period.
UMass Boston's penalty kill and MacBurnie would keep the Jumobs at bay over the final 20 minutes though, as the Jumbos couldn't take advantage of their 13-10 shot advantage.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot the Jumbos 37-32 and earned a 45-32 edge in face-offs.
- The Beacons penalty kill held Tufts to an 0-4 showing. UMass Boston went 0-2 on the man advantage.
- With the win, the Beacons advance to the Codfish Bowl Title Game for the third-straight year and eighth time in 10 years. The Beacons won the title in 2013 and 2014 and will be going for their sixth all-time title on Saturday.
- With their 4-4 showing on the penalty kill, UMass Boston is now 69 of 73 (94.5 percent) on the penalty kill. The Beacons 94.5 percent mark is tops in all of NCAA Men's Hockey (Division I, II and III).
- UMass Boston is now 34-36-3 all-time in the Codfish Bowl, while Tufts falls to 3-2.
- With the win, UMass Boston improved to 8-0 this season at the Edward T. Barry Ice Rink.
- Bryn Athyn coach Andrew Burke ('12) is a UMass Boston alum. He is in his seventh season as head coach of the Lions and led the team in their progression from club team to the NCAA level before last season.
UMass Boston will host the 54thAnnual Codfish Bowl Tournament Championship Game on Saturday at 4 p.m.