71°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Saint Anselm Ices Beacons

The Beacons had a real test last Saturday in the Clark Athletic Center as they faced conference-leading Saint Anselm College. The game was a close contest, but in the end, UMass Boston was unable to pull it out, losing 3-1. The Beacons couldn’t overcome their own mistakes, falling short in their attempt to knock off the unbeaten-in-conference Hawks.

Things went wrong early when, just 56 seconds in, Hawks forward Kelsey Johnson snuck the puck past a stunned Beacons defense. “I think my team was pretty hyper and fired up coming out,” said coach Crowell of Saturday’s loss. “We forgot about our defensive obligations. It came down to not being focused enough.” Johnson skated between two defensemen and slipped the puck under off-guard UMass Boston Goalie Jessica Sams, giving Saint Anselm an early 1-0 lead.

The Beacons would come out with an answer in the second period. Because of a late first period penalty on Hawks star forward Kathleen Twomey for interference, the Beacons began the second period on the power play and quickly made the Hawks pay. Defenseman Lauren Duran worked the puck from the corner of the net out to freshman Hannah Davis in front. Davis lifted the puck over the right shoulder of Saint Anselm goalie Andrea Berlin to tie the game at one only 45 seconds into the second period. “It was kind of a blooper shot,” Davis said of the goal, her sixth of the year.

After a tough first period, the Beacons had evened the game and seemed to have the momentum. “I was happy with the way we responded,” said Crowell, who called Saint Anselm, “one of the best teams in the country.” Many viewed the matchup as a good test for UMass Boston nearing the end of the season. “We were battling the whole time,” said Davis, who credited coach Crowell with keeping her team aggressive.

The hard-fought tie was short-lived, however, as 1:38 later the Beacons would give the lead right back on a quick goal by Saint Anselm’s Alexa Hingston. The goal came while the Beacons were on the penalty kill. Twomey, fresh off her penalty time found Hingston off a face-off in the Beacons’ zone, and she fired the puck through the crease. “That was a heartbreaker,” said Crowell of what proved to be the game winner. For Twomey, it was her second assist of the game and produced her 100th career point, a school record.

The Beacons had several more chances in the second period, including a nifty breakaway by Maria Nasta that was shut down by St. Anselm’s goalie Andrea Berlin. The Beacons also squandered a gift penalty called on the Hawks’ Kelsey Johnson at the end of the second period. Nasta was called for her own hooking penalty only 17 seconds into the power play to waste the one-woman advantage.

The Beacons were never given another chance by the Hawks goaltender, who turned away 26 shots while earning her ECAC Goalie of the Week Honors for the third time. Two minutes and forty-five seconds into the third period, Hawks sophomore Arianna Rigano added her 16th goal on the year to cement St. Anselm’s win.

Despite the outcome, Crowell felt her team gave a good effort, especially junior goaltender, Jessica Sams. “She definitely bounced back,” said Crowell, speaking of her goalie’s effort after giving up an early goal. Sams made 36 saves in a losing cause.

The loss left UMass with an 11-9-0 record heading into back-to-back home games last weekend. “We really need to focus game to game,” Davis said, stressing the importance of the pair of home games.

“Every game now is more important. These are two huge games,” said Coach Crowell, “we really need two wins.”