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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Abracadabra: Women’s Hockey Works Magic

Abracadabra: Womens Hockey Works Magic

The UMass Boston women’s ice hockey team has done something no other athletic program in school history has accomplished: it has won the first four games of its inaugural season.

The Beacons exploded for 19 goals over the weekend and came away with a pair of victories over the Seahawks of Salve Regina, 9-2 and10-0. The team opened the season the previous weekend with a pair of wins over SUNY-Cortland St.

UMB showcased an offensive attack led by freshman Andrea Ciarletta, who had a sensational Friday night and Saturday, registering a pair of hat tricks, as she increased her goal total to a team-leading eight in this young season. Her linemates, freshmen Melissa Belmonte (an ECAC East Co-rookie of the Week for the Week of November 12) and Calli Beskosty, have also gotten off to flying starts, with a total of 11 points of apiece.

Salve Regina was overmatched in both games. In the first period of game one, Melissa Belmonte picked up a loose puck at center ice and streaked down the left side and sent a hard shot from the left circle past Salve Regina’s goaltender Sarah Kuecher. Seahawk goaltenders were kept extremely busy all weekend, facing a combined 129 shots in the two games.

It wasn’t long after Belmonte’s goal when Ciarletta got into the act. With the Beacons on the power play, Ciarletta took a pass from Beskosty and sent a high wrist shot over the shoulder of Kuecher to give the Beacons a 2-0 lead. A goal by Katie Reardon and another by Ciarletta finished off the scoring for the first period.

The second period was probably UMB’s most sloppy of the weekend. The Beacons had difficulty moving the puck out of their zone, and had an unusual number of turnovers, especially in the defensive zone.

There were only two goals in the second period: one by Beacon defenseman Kerri Zizzo on the power play, and the second by Seahawk Cassandra Leone. Zizzo collected a pass from Reardon at the point and sent a changeup of a shot toward the goal that apparently Kuecher could not see until it was already in the net.

Leone’s goal was the result of a rush up ice. Leone sent a shot at goaltender Shannon Palmer (15 saves), who was making the first start of her career. Palmer made the initial save, but let up a rebound that Leone shoveled into the net.

Salve Regina made things interesting when Leone scored her second of the game at the 2:05 mark of the third period. She intercepted a Beacon pass at her offensive blue line and skated straight toward the goal, and lifted a shot passed Palmer to cut the Beacon lead to 5-2.

Any thoughts of a Seahawk comeback, however, were quickly dismissed as UMB scored 21seconds later. Molly Norton barreled down the ice and snapped a shot by Kuecher for her first collegiate goal. Reardon assisted on the play.

The Beacons put the game away when Ciarletta recorded her hat trick midway through the third period. Beskosty and Norton finished up the scoring.

If there was any doubt about the outcome of the first game between UMB and Salve Regina, there was absolutely none in the second match-up. Ciarletta picked up where she left off, scoring 2:33 into the game off the rebound of a Beskosty shot. Ciarletta tallied another goal later in the period, her seventh of the season. Reardon and defenseman Jenn Murray each scored to give the Beacons a 4-0 lead at the first intermission.

UMB had another second period lull. This time, however, it was bookended by a pair of goals at both the beginning and end of the period. Freshman Gabrielle Goodrow notched the first goal of her career at the 0:56 mark and Calli Beskosty popped in her fourth of the year a minute and a half later.

The play after Beskosty’s goal was still exciting even though the scoring slowed down. The Beacons controlled the puck for much of the time in the Seahawk zone, keeping goaltender Kristin Suslowicz very busy.

UMB ended the drought (if one can call it that) with 94 seconds left in the period. Ciarletta, four feet out front, took a feed from Belmonte and snapped a quick shot stickside of Suslowicz for her second hat trick in as many games.

Zizzo scored her second goal of the year 13 seconds later when Suslowicz mishandled her shot as the puck bounced off her glove and into the net.

Reardon and Norton each had goals early on the third period to finish up the scoring. The only aim was to preserve the shutout for Palmer, which the team did, giving the Lynn native her second win.

The only other notable item of the third period was an incident between Zizzo and Seahawk Bridget Sheerin. Zizzo skated toward the boards to get control of the puck, not aware that Sheerin right behind her. Sheerin came in contact with Zizzo and sent her hard into the glass. Zizzo slumped over and remained on the ice for several minutes before she was able to stand up and skate off with a little assistance.

UMB’s next games are on the road against conference foe, Rochester Institute of Technology (3-0 as of November 17), before the team breaks for the week of finals and holidays. The Beacons will not be facing varsity competition at home again until January 6 when they face off against Utica.