BOSTON, Mass.—Another year of Codfish Bowl play ended with a similar result Saturday afternoon at the Edward T. Barry Ice Rink. For the sixth time in the last 10 seasons, the hosts fell in the Championship Game of the Codfish Bowl Tournament, with a "hot goalie" proving to be one of the key reasons the Beacons fell in their home tournament.
SUNY Cortland 2, #8/8 UMass Boston 1
(UMass Boston 12-3)
(SUNY Cortland 6-8)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Red Dragons junior goalie Nick Modica made 44 saves on 45 stops to back the visitors and sophomore Alex Storjohann scored the game-winning goal with 56.8 seconds left, to lift SUNY Cortland to the 54th Codfish Bowl Championship.
Modica earned MVP honors after making 90 saves on 92 shots in a pair of victories. The junior stopped at least 15 shots in 5 of the six periods he played, including stopping all 32 shots he faced in the final two periods.
For the third-straight season, UMass Boston heavily outshot their opponents in the Codfish Bowl Finals, only to fall on a late goal. In the 53rd Codfish Bowl, Salve Regina defeated the Beacons 3-2 thanks to a goal with 11 seconds remaining in regulation.
UMass Boston junior goalie Bailey MacBurnie (Beverly, Mass.) was the tough-luck loser, after putting together a second-straight, brilliant performance to start 2019. The netminder made 29 saves on 31 shots to fall to 11-2 on the year.
Sophomore defenseman Nick Albano (Beverly, Mass.) scored a power-play goal 14:09 into the first period to give the Beacons a brief lead.
Cortland freshman defenseman Oliver Lester answered 2:02 later, when he scored his first collegiate goal.
Albano's goal capped off a five-minute stretch in which the Beacons dominated the Red Dragons in terms of possession and chances. After UMass Boston drew a penalty, Albano missed the net with several slap shots, before scoring on his first shot on goal. Nolan Redler (Winchester, Mass.) fed senior captain Gabe Chuckran (Media, Pa.) at the blue line and Chuckran left the puck off for Albano, who snapped a shot through traffic that Modica never saw.
Less than 30 seconds later, UMass Boston put the Red Dragons on the power-play for the second time. SUNY Cortland made UMass Boston pay, when Lester whipped a shot through traffic that found the back of the net. Stefano Alonzi and Douglas Elgstam earned assists on the play.
After a mostly even first period, UMass Boston picked up their play and dominated the second stanza.
Cortland's Nico Gonzalez was ejected for a high hit midway through the second period and gave the Beacons five-minutes of power-play time. Despite putting together a slew of chances on the man-advantage and in the period, the Beacons couldn't score on any of their 15 shots.
The third period would be a bit more even, but UMass Boston still held the better end of play. UMass Boston once again earned a power-play midway through the period, but again Modica made a number of strong saves to keep the game knotted at 1-1.
SUNY Cortland earned a power-play with 2:35 to play and took advantage against the nation's number one penalty kill. Storjohann sent a pass across the offensive zone to a cutting Mike Crowley who had his shot denied, but the rebound bounced back to the near side right to Storjohann, and his one-timer found the back of the cage with MacBurnie still trying to slide back across.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston outshot the Red Dragons 45-31 and earned a 36-32 edge in the face-off dot.
- SUNY Cortland is the third first-time entrant in the past four seasons to win the Codfish Bowl in their first trip.
- The Red Dragons are the first team all season to score multiple power-play goals against the Beacons. SUNY Cortland went 2-5 on the power-play, while UMass Boston finished 1-4.
- Chuckran won the Lawrence F. Curran Award. The award has been given out each year since 1983 in remembrance of Lawrence F. Curran, an former assistant coach and avid supporter of the program. Each year, the award is given to the player who best exemplifies true sportsmanship and competition over the course of the two-day tournament.
- The loss marked the Beacons' first loss of the season at home (8-1).
- Each of the Beacons' last four losses in the Codfish Bowl have been by a single goal. The Beacons have also suffered one-goal losses in each of their last four defeats in the Codfish Bowl Finals.
- Saturday's meeting marked the first contest between the two programs.
#8/8 UMass Boston will take to the road to start a four-game, conference road trip. The Beacons will put their perfect 8-0-0 conference record on the line on Friday night at 7 p.m. at New England College.