UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Women’s Ice Hockey Upsets RIT in Quarterfinals

Womens Ice Hockey Upsets RIT in Quarterfinals

Coming off an amazing inaugural regular season, the UMB women’s ice hockey team entered the playoffs as the sixth place team in the league. ECAC Division III playoffs are not played as a series and one loss means the end of the season for any team. The Beacons played the third place team, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), on Saturday in the quarterfinals. The Beacons faced RIT in a double header at the beginning of the season and lost both games, the first in a 2-0 shutout and the rematch the next day 6-3. Needless to say, the Beacons had not only a playoff game to win but also a score to settle.

The game did not start out too brilliantly for the Beacons as they were down one player three minutes into the first period after a penalty and gave up a power-play goal six seconds after the penalty call. The Beacons had their own power-play advantage, at the end of the period and were able to tie up the score with a goal by Melissa Belmonte (#23) that was assisted by Andrea Ciarletta (#13). It was an amazing goal as the four RIT players on the ice surrounded both Belmonte and Ciarletta as they drove to the net. Belmonte was named the ECAC Division III Rookie of the Week and Ciarletta led the entire division in points (goals and assists) for the regular season. With 1:20 left in the period, UMB took the lead with a goal scored by Molly Norton (#3) and assisted by Katie Reardon (#5).

RIT opened up the second period with another goal, but UMB fought back and kept RIT scoreless on two power plays. Belmonte, assisted by Jenn Murray (#27), brought the Beacons up by one and took the lead for the second time in the game.

The third period was opened and closed by Belmonte as she scored both the first and final goals of the period for UMB. Her first goal of the period and third of the game came in the first twenty-five seconds on the power play carried over from an RIT penalty late in the second period. A goal by Ciarletta, assisted by Katelyn Averill (#14), followed two minutes later and put the women up 5-2.

RIT did come back with two goals by the third and eighth leading scorers, Kendra Bredlau and Alysia Park respectively, bringing RIT within one point of tying things up. With only 57 seconds left in the game, Belmonte came up huge with her fourth goal of the game on an empty net to seal the victory.

Don’t forget to pay tribute to the brick wall in front of the UMB net, Amanda Boucher (#31). Allowing only four goals on 49 shots, Boucher walked away from the game with an amazing 45 saves.

Several weeks ago coach Laura Schuler made it a point to say that the team had grown over the season, stating that teams they lost to in the beginning of the season would be defeated if they had the chance to play them again. Last Saturday’s victory over RIT not only validates Schuler’s assertion, it also moves the Beacons into the ECAC East semifinals to play RPI. That game is on Saturday, March 6 at Manhattanville.