GORHAM, Maine – A Samantha Fallon (Pembroke, Mass.) goal at 11:57 of the third period proved to be the deciding tally as UMass Boston women's ice hockey closed out their 2013-14 regular season with a hard fought 3-2 ECAC East conference win over the University of Southern Maine Saturday afternoon.
With Saturday's win the Beacons (11-10-4, 7-8-1 ECAC East) end the regular season with their first winning record since finishing 14-11-1 to close out the 2010-11 campaign under then first year head coach Colleen Harris. The Beacons will end the year with at-least a .500 record with the ECAC East Tournament set to begin next Saturday at a site to be determined.
Fallon's game-winner cancelled out a Southern Maine (10-14-1, 7-8-1 ECAC East) goal by Lynn Kozlowski, which at the time made it 2-2 with less than 15 minutes to play in the third. Alyssa Sullivan (Medford, Mass.) started the scoring off in the final frame as she netted a power-play goal 32 seconds in to make it 2-1 in favor of the Beacons.
Saturday's contest was a back-and-forth affair with both teams each registering a goal in the opening period. The Beacons struck first thanks in part to a Kayla Kiernan (North Smithfield, R.I.) goal off of an assist by Sullivan at the 7:45 mark. Almost two minutes later the Huskies scored the equalizer off of the stick of Bridget O'Brien. Chelsea Boucher and Cassandra Sherman were each credited with the assist on the play.
UMass Boston's offense led the first period in shots (7-4) but was only able to record the lone marker. After the first intermission neither team found the back of their opponents net, with UMass Boston once again leading the period in shots this time 9-3.
It was in the third that things started to pick-up following the Sullivan power-play goal, which was assisted by Katie Loiselle (Glocester, R.I.) and Kat Armstrong (Boulder, Colo.), the Beacons began to build some momentum. However the Huskies were still very much in the contest as Boucher and Taylor Bent assisted Kozlowski's goal to make 2-2 with plenty of time on the clock.
It was not until Fallon ended the deadlock that the Beacons were able to really take control of Saturday's contest. Senior and former USM Huskie Courtney White was credited with the helper.
Between the pipes Moe Bradley (Swampscott, Mass.) earned her sixth victory of the year after registering 12 saves, while Liz Bergstrom fell to 8-9-1 despite a strong game in which she stopped 20 of the Beacons 23 shots on goal.
UMass Boston went 1-for-2 on the power-play, while the Huskies finished 0-for-1 in a very clean game for both teams.
With Saturday's victory the Beacons have secured the fifth seed in this year's ECAC East Tournament and will be on the road for the first round. The Beacons will face Manhattanville College who is the fourth seed next Saturday at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, Conn. Start time for that contest is to be determined.