BOSTON, Mass. - It took a total team effort from start to finish but after 60 strong minutes of action women's ice hockey (5-6-2) finally got that proverbially monkey off their back as they hoisted the program's first ever tournament championship in the 7th Annual Codfish Bowl cup following a 2-0 win over Connecticut College (5-3-2) Thursday evening in the Clark Athletic Center Ice Arena.
Thursday's championship marked the first-ever title in the now 10 year history of the women's ice hockey program. Led by another outstanding performance from sophomore goalie and All-Tournament team selection Casey Schaejbe (Arlington, Mass.) the Beacons went toe-to-toe with a very tough NESCAC team in the Camels. From the opening faceoff the two teams exchanged shots and played a very physical and intense contest.
The Beacons got on the scoreboard in the first period in a huge way scoring their second straight power-play goal in the last two games. Not only did that goal give the Beacons the lead but it was also scored the Camels penalty kill which going into the tournament ranked in the top-4 in the country.
That goal would come off the stick of Tournament MVP Samantha Fallon (Pembroke, Mass.) at 7:32 in the opening frame. Senior captain Katie Loiselle (Glocester, R.I.) assisted on the game-winner. Even with the 1-0 lead the Beacons did not sit back, as they continued to pressure the Camels constantly throughout the final 13 minutes in hopes of extending their lead.
Going into the first intermission, the Beacons outshot Connecticut 10-9. The second period proved to the period that broke the Camels' back as UMass Boston dominated play from start to finish. Coupled with a goal from Jess Salisbury (North Smithfield, R.I.) the Beacons took total control of the championship.
On top of their offensive presence, the Beacons defense was just as dangerous blocking every chance the Camels took, and when it got past them, Schaejbe either deflected or smothered puck every time it came in her crease.
Contributing to what was the clinching goal for the Beacons was Loiselle and Alyssa Sullivan (Medford, Mass.). Sullivan was named an All-Tournament selection to cap off a four point tournament for the junior. In yesterday's 4-3 win over Stevenson, she scored once and tallied a pair of assists in the victory.
Moving into the third and final period, the Camels went into desperation mode in hopes of ending the Beacons shutout bid. Unfortunately for them, the Beacons defense remained strong and with their aggressive fore-check still very much in play Connecticut did not have an answer for the Beacons.
As time continued to wind down, UMass never once hung back as head coach Colleen Harris continued to push her team up the ice. With less than five minutes to play Connecticut pulled their goalie to gain the extra forward. Again that had little effect as the Beacons were relentless knowing that a championship and a shutout were within in their grasps.
With only 10 seconds remaining the Beacons began to celebrate their historic win and with the sound of the final horn rushed their sophomore goalie. With Friday's victory the Beacons extended their unbeaten streak to five straight games, with three of those coming in the form of a shutout.
On the day, Connecticut College outshot the Beacons 29-24, and was 0-for-1 on the power play. UMass went 1-for-3 on the power play with Schaejbe registering all 29 stops. Kelsie Fralick made 22 saves in the loss and was named to the All-Tournament team alongside teammate Jane Pagano.
Also being named to the All-Tournament team was Edie Brening from Neumann University and Megan Donahue from Stevenson University. Neumann defeated Stevenson in the consolation game by the final of 3-2, with all three goals coming from Brening.
Women's Hockey returns to action on Monday when they host first-time opponent the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) at 6 p.m.
Alyssa Sullivan - UMass Boston
Casey Schaejbe - UMass Boston
Kelsie Fralick - Connecticut College
Jane Pagano - Connecticut College
Edie Brenning - Neumann University
Megan Donahue - Stevenson University
Tournament MVP - Samantha Fallon - UMass Boston
|Captains Katie Loiselle and Sarahanne Cavolo with Vice Chancellor Charlie Titus and Associate AD Cheryl Aaron|
|Tournament MVP Samantha Fallon with Vice Chancellor Titus and Associate AD Cheryl Aaron|
|All-Tournament selection Casey Schaejbe with Associate AD Cheryl Aaron|
|All-Tournament selection Alyssa Sullivan with Associate AD Cheryl Aaron|
|Seniors (L to R) Kelly Sharlow, Courtney White, Katie Loiselle, and Sarahanne Cavolo with the championship cup|