Women's Hockey Outlasts SUNY Canton In Codfish Bowl Semifinals

Women's Hockey Outlasts SUNY Canton In Codfish Bowl Semifinals

BOSTON, Mass.—Kayla Smith (Woburn, Mass.) and Michaela Faia (Malden, Mass.) each enjoyed three-point days and UMass Boston women's hockey (6-3-4) scored a pair of power-play goals to help the Beacons outlast SUNY Canton (1-12-1) 4-1 in the Opening Round of the 8th Annual Codfish Bowl Tournament.

Smith and Faia combined for a pair of goals within a 96-second span of the third period to put the game out of reach and help UMass Boston snap a seven-game winless streak (0-3-4). With the win, UMass Boston advances to their seventh Codfish Bowl Title Game in eight tries. UMass Boston will host the winner of Stevenson University and Chatham University Saturday at 4 p.m.

The Beacons found a way to not only snap their long winless-streak but also to snap their power-play woes. After going 0-for-20 in their last eight games, the Beacons' new look power-play scored on back-to-back opportunities to snap an 0-for-21 streak.

Smith scored the first goal of the game and added two assists in the third, while Faia tallied two assists, before scoring a nifty goal to wrap up the scoring. Friday's three-point game marked the first of Smith's career and tied Faia's career-high. The duo teamed up with freshman Alli Bianchini (Sterling Heights, Mich.) to create consistent pressure all afternoon against the Kangaroos.

Defenseman Kat Armstrong (Boulder, Colo.) and Kelsey MacIsaac (Durham, N.H.) also scored for the Beacons.

In net, Moe Bradley (Swampscott, Mass.) picked up where she left off in 2014, as the senior netminder made 20 saves on 21 shots to improve to 3-1-3.

SUNY Canton sophomore Rhea Coad scored her first goal of the season in her first game of the year, as the mid-season addition tied the game up at 1-1 in the second period. Junior forward Grace Lyon picked up an assist on the play.

Rebecca DiNardo stopped 36 shots on the afternoon to fall to 1-8-0 on the year. The freshman goalie stopped 10 or more shots in all three periods, including 14 in the second stanza.

Neither side was able to get anything going in the opening 15 minutes, with both teams showing rust from the long lay-off. SUNY Canton earned an early power-play opportunity, but Bradley was up to the task, as the senior made six of her 11 first-period saves during the two-minute, man-advantage.

UMass Boston went into the locker-room with a 1-0 edge thanks to the strong combination play of Faia and Smith. Faia poked a puck away from a SUNY Canton player on a Beacons' line change and Smith picked up the loose puck and skated through two defenders, before skating from right to left and sliding a back-hand shot through DiNardo for a 1-0 lead at 16:37 of the period.

Coad answered back for the Kangaroos at 3:33 of the second off a Beacons' miscue. After a defenseman failed to clear the puck just inside the blue line, Lyon pounced on the loose puck and skated in on net, before barely getting anything on her shot. The puck kept sliding and found Coad, who roofed home a shot from just outside the crease to tie the game 1-1.

Armstrong gave the Beacons' life at 11:47 of the period, with their first power-play goal since November 8. The sophomore defenseman used a toe-drag to inch her away around one defender and then blasted a low slap shot past DiNardo for her first goal of the 2014-15 season. Samantha Fallon (Pembroke, Mass.) and senior co-captain Suzanne Meek (South Hackensack, N.J.) picked up assists on the play. Meek's assist was the first point of her collegiate career and came in the first game of her 2014-15 season.

SUNY Canton threatened to counter back with a second goal in the third period, after the Beacons committed a pair of penalties to force a 5-on-3. Facing a 5-on-3 for 1:34, head coach Colleen Harris sent out seniors Alyssa Sullivan (Medford, Mass.), Alexandra Karlis (Parker, Colo.) and Angela Dandreo (Swampscott, Mass.).

Sullivan won the ensuing face-off and Dandreo came away with a pinned puck and weaved her way through traffic, before sending the puck the length of the ice. Karlis won the race to the puck and was tripped up, to make it a 4-on-3 for the Kangaroos.

The Beacons promptly killed off the remaining power-play and pushed the lead to 3-1 moments later, thanks to MacIsaac's goal. Smith won the face-off on the power-play over to Bianchini and the freshman left the puck off for MacIsaac, who promptly fired a left-handed slap-shot through the five-hole of a sliding DiNardo at 17:02 of the third.

UMass Boston capped off the scoring at 18:38, thanks to some more strong combination play from Smith and Faia. Smith rushed into the zone and swiped the puck away from a SUNY Canton player along the near boards, before she skated towards the net and found a charging Faia. Faia faked a forehand shot, before she slid a back-hand shot just inside the crease along the near post for a 4-1 win.

UMass Boston outshot SUNY Canton 40-21 for the game and earned a 30-29 advantage on the face-off. The Beacons also earned a big edge in special teams, as UMass Boston went 2-for-3 on the power-play and held SUNY Canton to an 0-for-5 day on the power-play.