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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Women’s Ice Hockey Debuts In Style

Womens Ice Hockey Debuts In Style

It was three years in the making, and when it was finally put on display, it did not fail to disappoint.

The UMass Boston’s women’s ice hockey team made its debut as last weekend in impressive fashion, winning a pair of closely contested games over the Red Dragons of SUNY Cortland St, 5-3 and 4-3.

Several Beacons had fabulous debuts. Freshman Melissa Belmonte had seven points over the weekend, including a hat trick in Saturday’s matinee affair. Freshman Andrea Ciarletta also had an impressive couple of games, scoring a total of two goals and five assists. Freshman goaltender Amanda Boucher recorded 22 saves and 27 saves, respectively, in the two wins

The team, which will be a member of the ECAC East Conference, had junior varsity status for the 2002-03 season. The roster was freshmen heavy, yet the youth did not deter the team from having a relatively successful season. The Beacons compiled a 9-7-1 record, facing off against mostly varsity squads.

Freshman Calli Beskosty will go down in history of the first player to score a goal for the UMB women’s hockey team at the 4:01 mark of the first period. With the Beacon forwards creating traffic in front of Cortland’s goaltender Kelly Fillmore, Beskosty scooped up a rebound and slipped the puck into the net. Ciarletta and Belmonte assisted on the goal.

A few minutes later while on the power play, Cortland St. tied the score on a crazy bounce of the puck, capitalizing on the Beacons’ failure to clear the puck from their defensive zone. Red Dragon defenseman Lindsay Weinstein gathered the puck at the blue line and shot it wide of goaltender Amanda Boucher. The puck, however, bounced off the boards and right to an open Judy Ellis, who knocked it off the inside of Boucher’s right pad and into the net. Ciarletta put the Beacons back out in front when she knocked in a Belmonte shot off a 2-on-1 break.

The score remained the same until the second period, when Judy Ellis of Cortland St. collected a bouncing puck off the left boards and ripped a hard shot over the shoulder of Boucher.

The game settled down in regards to scoring. Penalties, however, were another matter. The referees called a tight game from beginning to end. Cortland had eight power play opportunities, scoring twice, while UMB was one for four on the man advantage.

The game had a going-to-overtime feel for much of the third period until UMB exploded for three consecutive. The first goal was by sophomore Jenn Murray while the team was short handed. Murray scooped up a loose puck in her own end and raced down the right side with a Red Dragon defender on her hip. Murray put on a burst of speed, cleared her opponent, and then beat Fillmore high on the glove side.

Less than a minute later, Belmonte scored her first collegiate goal, which proved to be the game winner. With some deft stick work, she weaved her way through the Cortland St. defense and while falling down, put a backhand shot through the five hole of Fillmore. Beskosty notched her second goal of the game with four minutes left in the game. Cortland’s Lindsay Davies capped off the scoring tallying a goal with 12 seconds with the game well in hand.

The second game was more of a nail biter for UMB. Ciarletta scored the game winner with less than four minutes left to secure the team’s second victory in as many games. Boucher came up with 27 saves for her second consecutive win.

Both teams scored twice in the opening period, with Belmonte tallying each of the Beacon goals, the second on a beautiful triple-deke backhander flat on the ice. Amanda McCann and Lindsay Davies of Cortland St. each scored a goal in the first period.

The Beacons allowed Cortland State to score a soft goal to take the lead 3-2. The poor play in the defensive zone nearly sent Coach Laura Schuler through the roof. The team responded a little more than a minute later with Belmonte scoring her third goal of the game. Ciarletta unloaded a shot from out front that sent Cortland goalie Rachel Hutchinson to the ice in order to make the save. The rebound, however, went to Belmonte who lifted the puck over a sprawled Hutchinson.

UMB was lucky to escape the second period with allowing another goal. Boucher made several spectacular saves, and she twice thwarted Cortland St. 3-on-1 rushes.

The first ten minutes of the third period was not much better for the Beacons. The team hardly had possession of the puck, and it was forced to ice the puck several times to relieve the Red Dragon offensive pressure.

With time winding down in the third period, the Beacons sealed the game on a beautiful goal by Ciarletta who came rushing down the ice on her off wing on beat Hutchinson high shot that clanked off the crossbar and into the net.

The Beacons will be in action again this weekend for a pair of games at home against conference opponent Salve Regina on Friday November 14 at 7pm and Saturday November 15 at 2pm.