Women's Hockey Downs Nichols College 2-1 For First Win of the Year

BOSTON, Mass.--Fueled by a two-goal second period and a two-to-one shot advantage, women's hockey earned their first win of the 2013-14 campaign, with a 2-1 victory over Nichols College Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Ice Arena.

Kayla Kiernan (North Smithfield, R.I.) and Sarahanne Cavolo (Roxbury, N.H.) each scored their first goals of the season to lift UMB to 1-3-1 on the year and 1-2 in ECAC East play. The Bison took their first lead since the opening period of the season, but couldn't hold on to it, falling to 0-3 and 0-2 in ECAC East Conference action.

After failing to earn a victory in their first two home games despite outshooting their opponents by a wide margin, the Beacons earned their first lead and first win of the year behind two goals in less than eight minutes.

Loiselle scored on the Beacons' lone power-play chance of the day, while Kiernan roofed a wrist shot past Tori Gianformaggio to give UMass Boston the 2-1 advantage. Seniors Katie Loiselle (Glocester, R.I.) and Courtney White (Medford, Mass.) and junior Tori Pizzuto (Waterbury, Conn.) picked up assists in the victory.

Erin Dice scored the lone goal for Nichols College, with Lisa Coskren and Grace Murphy each registering an assist.

Junior netminder Moe Bradley (Swampscott, Mass.) picked up her first win in Beacons Blue by making 20 saves on 21 shots. The junior transfer has stopped 36 of the 38 shots she's faced in two starts to earn a 1-0-1 record for UMass Boston.

Gianformaggio took the loss for the Bison, despite making 41 saves on 43 shots. The junior has now stopped 90 shots in her first two starts this season for Nichols.

UMass Boston outshot the Bison 43-21 and continued their recent trend of playing extremely well on special-teams. The Beacons killed off Nichols' two power-play opportunities to extend their penalty-killing streak to 12 in a row, and went 1-for-1 on the power-play.

Neither team could get anything going in the first period, as Nichols got off to a slightly better start forcing a UMass Boston timeout, but neither team put much pressure on the opposing goaltender. UMass Boston held a 12-5 shot advantage in the period.

Nichols got on the board 85 seconds into the second stanza on a completely broken play by the Beacons' defense. Murphy skated into the Beacons zone and had her initial shot stopped by Bradley, before finding the rebound and sending a shot off the post. The second chance caused Bradley to slide out of position, leaving an opening for Dice to sneak the puck just inside the near post.

The Beacons responded at 4:47 of the period, when their two co-captains connected on a power-play goal. Loiselle sent a strong pass right onto the stick of Cavolo, who flicked it over the goaltender's shoulder to tie the game at 1-1.

Kiernan lifted the Beacons to their first lead of the year, when she roofed her left-handed wrist shot just under the bar to make it 2-1 Beacons at the 12:03 mark.

Nichols had a great chance to score late in the period, when the Beacons committed back-to-back penalties within 58 seconds of each other, but the Bison struggled to get anything going, with UMB coming away with two shorthanded chances.

Kiernan had a phenomenal chance to make it 3-1 at the end of the period, but she was stuffed by Gianformaggio on her penalty shot attempt, after she was tripped from behind by Kayla Collins.

The third period played out to a similar script as the first, as both teams struggled to light the lamp, while managing to avoid the penalty box. UMass Boston had several good looks from in close, but Gianformaggio managed to send each shot towards the boards.

Bradley came up with several key glove saves in the third period, including a huge stop on a Talia Hohmann shot through traffic.

UMass Boston will look to build off their victory when they travel to take on Holy Cross University Friday night at 7 p.m.