November 15, 2013

Women's Hockey Fall Just Short Against #8 Manhattanville 4-2

BOSTON, Mass.--Despite earning a large shot advantage and dominating special teams, UMass Boston women's hockey couldn't find a way to overcome #8/10 Manhattanville College Friday night, as the Valiants picked up their first win of the season with a 4-2 victory in their ECAC East Conference Opener.

The Beacons fell to 0-3-1 on the year and 0-2-0 in ECAC East action, while the Valiants picked up their first overall and conference win of the season, moving to 1-1-1 and 1-0-0 in ECAC East play.

For the second straight game, UMass Boston totaled over 40 shots and earned a huge advantage in the shots category, only to fall short on the scoreboard.

Sophomore Jenny Currie (Chelmsford, Mass.) scored her first collegiate goal, while senior co-captain Katie Loiselle (Glocester, R.I.) added her first tally of her senior year. Freshman defenseman Kat Armstrong (Boulder, Colo.) picked up her first collegiate point, with an assist on Loiselle's second period marker.

Jerin Dinkins led the Valiants by scoring the first two goals of her collegiate career, including an empty-netter to seal the contest with under a minute to play. Michele Meggiolaro added a goal and an assist, while assistant captain Trenah Stauffer added the final goal for the nationally-ranked Valiants.

Sophomore Casey Schaejbe (Arlington, Mass.) overcame a slow start to post 21 saves on 24 shots. After giving up three goals in the 25 minutes, Schaejbe shut down the visitors for the rest of the game, saving the final 11 shots she saw.

Junior goaltender Kirsten Shaughnessy picked up her first win of the season by making a season-high 40 saves on 42 shots.

Manhattanville took the lead just 89 seconds into the contest, when Jena Nicholls forced a turnover in the UMB end and sent the puck to Dinkins, who skated in front of the net and roofed a shot over Schaejbe's shoulder.

UMass Boston nearly tied the score before the end of the period; Tori Pizzuto (Waterbury, Conn.) skated in on a two-on-one and beat Shaughnessy to the near-side, but her shot deflected off the inside of the post, before being cleared by a Manhattanville defenseman.

The Valiants pushed their advantage to 3-0 early in the second period, when Meggiolaro and Stauffer found the back of the net within 25 seconds of each other. Meggiolaro scored at 4:23 off a pass from Alla Traun, and Stauffer made it 3-0 at 4:48 when she took passes from Sydney Asselstine and Meggiolaro and snuck the puck through the five-hole of the Beacons' goaltender.

The Beacons managed to cut the deficit to 3-1 before the break when Loiselle scored the first goal of her senior campaign. Armstrong blasted a shot from the point that winded its way through traffic, before deflecting off of Loiselle's stick and past Shaughnessy for the Beacons first goal of the contest.

UMass Boston made it 3-2 midway through the third period, when they took advantage of their lone power-play opportunity of the day. Less than 15 seconds after the beginning of the power-play, Currie skated in one-on-one with the goalie on the near side and slipped it through Shaughnessy's five-hole for her first collegiate goal in her 38th career contest.

The Beacons posted eight more shots on goal but couldn't take advantage, as Shaughnessy posted a game-high 16 saves in the third stanza.

Manhattanville iced the game with 28 seconds to go, when Dinkins slid a shot into the Beacons' empty-net from the blue-line to give the Valiants their first win of the season.

UMass Boston outshot Manhattanville 42-25 for the contest and held Manhattanville scoreless on five power-play opportunities.

The Beacons will aim for their first win of the season Saturday when they host Nichols College at 1 p.m. at the Clark Athletic Ice Arena.