BOSTON, Mass. – A Samantha Fallon (Pembroke, Mass.) goal at 13:51 in the third period would push women's ice hockey to the championship game of the 7th Annual Codfish Bowl tournament as they defeated Stevenson University by the final of 4-3 Thursday afternoon in the Clark Athletic Center Ice Arena.
With the victory the Beacons advance to the title game for the sixth time in the seven year history of the tournament. UMass will face first-time tournament opponent Connecticut College at 6 p.m. Stevenson will face Neumann University (Pa.) at 3 p.m. in the consolation game.
The goal from Fallon brought an end to a three goal run by the Mustangs which erased the Beacons early 3-0 lead. Fallon's goal came off a rebound after Alexa Cappione (Massena, N.Y.) fired a shot on goal which Stevenson's Mackenzie Bruch initially stopped. Fallon picked-up the loose puck and tapped it in to put UMass out in front with less than seven minutes to play in the contest.
Through the first 27 minutes of play, the Beacons controlled every aspect of Thursday's contest. UMass broke the scoreless draw on an Alyssa Sullivan (Medford, Mass.) power-play goal seven minutes into the first period. That goal would cap off a dominant first frame for the Beacons as they outshot Stevenson 15-5 and while also going 1-for-3 on the power-play.
In the second period, the Beacons pushed their lead to two in the first minute of the new period as senior captain Katie Loiselle (Glocester, R.I.) scored off of a pass from Sullivan. Also picking up an assist on the play was freshman defenseman Kat Armstrong (Boulder, Colo.).
Less than seven minutes later it was Alexandra Karlis (Denver, Colo.) scoring her first collegiate goal on an unassisted play to make it a comfortable 3-0 lead in favor of UMass. Unfortunately the Beacons got too comfortable with their lead, which allowed Stevenson to claw their way back in the contest.
Their first goal of the afternoon was an absolute bullet to the near post off of the stick of Megan Donahue on a Mustang power-play. They then made it a one goal game at the 14:21 mark when Rachel Martell fired home a goal of her own.
After the second intermission, UMass held the Mustangs off the scoreboard for nearly 12 minutes, but with a goal from Donahue Stevenson tied the game at 3-3. Luckily for the Beacons they managed to put a stop to the Mustangs run with Fallon scoring her first game-winner of the season.
Between the pipes Casey Schaejbe (Arlington, Mass.) earned her second straight victory after posting 21 saves in the contest. Bruch totaled 33 stops in the loss. Both goalies made some huge saves in Thursday's contest, which easily could have shifted the momentum of the contest.
On the day UMass finished 1-for-4 on the power play, while Steven went 1-for-2.
Women's Hockey returns to action tomorrow at 6 p.m. when they face Connecticut College in the championship game of the 7th Annual Codfish Bowl Tournament. The winner of tomorrow's contest will be a first-time champion in the seven year history of the Codfish.