BOSTON, Mass.—Connecticut College (3-5-1) used a pair of power-play goals to shock #5/7 UMass Boston men's hockey (10-1) 4-1 in the Opening Round of the 50th Annual Codfish Bowl Tournament.
The Camels went 2-for-6 on the power-play and successfully killed off all four Beacons' power-play opportunities in a strong showing for their special teams.
With the win, Connecticut College advanced to their first-ever Codfish Bowl Title Game, Monday at 4 p.m. The Beacons will play at 1 p.m. against the loser of Sunday's second game between #14 Lake Forest College and Hamilton College.
"This is a great win for the Men's Ice Hockey Program and I am very proud of how we played as a team," said Jim Ward, the 2014 NESCAC Coach of the Year. "This was truly a sixty minute
effort. We will need another effort like yesterday versus a strong Lake Forest Team in order to be successful."
After rushing out to a 3-1 lead midway through the second period, the Camels used a neutral-zone trap to stymie the host Beacons for most of the rest of the way, as Connecticut College handed the Beacons' their first home loss in 11 contests (9-0-1).
The loss also knocked the Beacons' out of the legion of unbeaten teams, as UMass Boston came into the day as one of just four Division III squads without a loss. The Beacons' 10-0-0 start marked the best start to a season in program history, but fell just short of tying the record for most consecutive wins in program history (11) and most consecutive wins to start a season in school history (11).
In net, Tom Conlin improved to 3-4-1 on the season by making 39 of 40 saves. The junior was impressive with his glove all afternoon long, especially in the third period when he stopped all 16 Beacons' shots.
Junior Jeremy Finger (Orlando, Fla.) opened the Codfish Bowl on a good note for the Beacons, as the second-line winger scored just 7:39 into the contest to give the Beacons their first and only lead.
UMass Boston goalie Zach Andrews (Coral Springs, Fla.) put together a strong showing, as the junior stopped 27 of 30 shots. Despite dropping his first-ever Codfish Bowl game (4-1), the junior was huge all afternoon for UMass Boston, as he made several key saves to keep the Beacons within striking distance.
The two-time defending Codfish Bowl Champions took a 1-0 lead 7:39 into the first period off a scramble in front. Conlin saved Colin Larkin's (Waterford, Mich.) initial shot, but Finger sent a shot over a sprawled out Conlin to make it 1-0.
Connecticut College answered back at 12:44 of the period, when they capitalized on their first power-play chance of the day. After having one potential goal waived off, Liautaud fired a shot through traffic that just slipped inside the post. Ryan Mowery and Brian Belisle were credited with assists on the play.
The second tally of the day for the Camels would be eerily similar, as Cangelosi wristed home a shot through traffic into the right-side of the net on a 5-on-3 power-play 15:53 into the first stanza. Will Leedy recorded the lone assist on the play.
From there, Connecticut College took over the game for the next 25 minutes, as the Camels' trap consistently frustrated any Beacons' offensive effort.
Connecticut College would get there all important third goal at the 9:09 mark of the second period on a broken play. Cangelosi's fed Birmingham who tried to return the favor with a centering pass, but it knocked off a Beacons' defenseman and right back to Birmingham. With the Beacons' defense and goalie caught off guard, Birmingham roofed a shot home for a 3-1 lead.
The Beacons adjusted in the second intermission, but couldn't find a way to beat Conlin. Despite a trio of power-plays and 10 total shots on the man-advantage, UMass Boston couldn't find a way back into the game.
Jones closed out the game with an empty-netter with 12 seconds remaining, to ensure that the Camels would reach the Codfish Bowl Title Game, in their second-ever Codfish Bowl appearance.