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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Women’s Ice Hockey Jousts for Playoffs

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s crunch time for the women’s ice hockey team, as the season winds down and the team fights for a spot in the ECAC East playoffs, which pits the conference’s six highest-ranking teams against each other. This is the inaugural year for UMB women’s ice hockey and before this weekend they sat in seventh place in their division with a record of 3-7-1. Facing Saint Michael’s Purple Knights this weekend the Beacon’s would have two opportunities to tack some W’s onto their record and help pave the way toward #6.

The Beacons must have had fire in their hearts and rockets on their skates on Friday as they ripped past the first game of the series with a 7-1 win. The women’s high scorer’s, Andrea Ciarletta (#13) and Melissa Belmonte (#23), came out of the game with two goals each and three assists. In addition Annie Larson (#19) had two goals and Molly Norton (#3) one.

UMB’s goal tending may have been the key to this game. St. Michael’s had 32 shots on goal with only one sneaking by in the third.

Saturday’s rematch proved to be an exciting event as the Knights opened up the game with an unassisted goal by Kasie Scafariello. Cristine Teifer (#11) answered for UMB one minute later with her first collegiate goal and Andrea Ciarletta put the Beacons ahead with her 24th goal of the season toward the end of the period. The Knights made one last attempt to come back in the second period with another goal after some hard hitting by their defense. But this was to no avail as Ciarletta and Belmonte put the puck past St. Michael’s goalie four more times. Ciarletta scored 4 goals in today’s game, raising her total for the season to 27.

This looked like a team that was playing well above .500 but as head coach Laura Schuler noted, “We’ve gotten stronger over the season.” She added that many of games that they lost in the beginning of the season could be replayed with different results now that the team has developed more. The coach and the team may get just that opportunity in the playoffs where they would play teams to which they had lost in the beginning of the season. The team has some real big conference games coming up in the next couple of weeks, games which will decide whether or not UMB sees the playoffs.

The Beacons will face off against first place RPI at home on February 14 and 15 and on the 20 and 21 they will contend against 6th place Holy Cross.