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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Next Stop, PLAYOFFS!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was a nail-biting weekend for Beacon fans as the UMB women’s ice hockey team split its series against the Holy Cross Crusaders with a win and a close loss. These two games were the last of regular season play for the women before the playoffs, and many of the Beacon’s players were fighting off colds and sore throats according to Coach Laura Schuler.

Annie Larson (#19) of UMB opened up Friday night’s game with a goal assisted by the ECAC East Co-Rookies of the Week Melissa Belmonte (#23) and Andrea Ciarletta (#13). Ciarletta’s assist was her 50th point of the season. Less than four minutes later Belmonte, assisted by Ciarletta, added her 20th goal of the season and put the Beacons up by two. Holy Cross came back at the end of the period with a goal at 12:44 and one on the power play with less than three minutes left in the period to tie it up. Kerri Zizzo (#6) answered back with a rocketing slap shot past Holy Cross’ goaltender, giving the Beacons back the lead. Amanda Boucher (#31), ECAC East Goalie of the Week, blocked 14 shots, allowing two past the goal line.

Adding to the nail-biting, Holy Cross opened up the second period with a goal only 35 seconds in tying things up again. However, with a touch of grace, Belmonte, Ciarletta, and Larson brought the puck up the ice in an amazing play. Belmonte scored her second goal of the game, making it 4-3 UMass. Not letting up, Holy Cross came back with less than two minutes in the period and tied the game before the third period.

Belmonte and Zizzo put the Beacons’ fans at ease in the third period, taking the lead and putting the Beacons up by two. Belmonte scored her third and fourth goals of the game with two assists by Zizzo. Belmonte’s goals gave her an all-time high 6 points in a game. Zizzo’s assists brought her up to a 29th in assists in the ECAC Division III East’s . Senior Leanne Wancheck (#11), with an assist by Cristin Teifer (#16), scored her second goal of the season on the power play. The Crusaders did score one last goal for the game on a 5-3 power play after two simultaneous penalties on the Beacons for cross checking and body checking. Many fans were upset by the call and seemed to be quite dissatisfied, even though both teams had the same number of penalties in the game. As far as the Beacons’ coach was concerned, however, it was just a part of the game. “Being a referee is a tough job. Sometimes teams get unlucky calls.” The Beacons nevertheless held strong during the numerous power plays and took the win.

While the Beacons did win the game, Holy Cross was able to get a shot on goal 23 times more than UMB, something unusual from a team with the two top scorers in the ECAC Division III. “We were not prepared tonight,” said Coach Schuler, “We had one line playing great, but we need the whole team ready to go.” That first line, however, was playing so well that even the coach said she’d be scared to go up against them.

After a strong showing on Friday night, the women came back to the Clark Center to face the Crusaders again. Kerri Zizzo scored the first goal of the game unassisted seven-minutes into the first period. With less than three minutes left in the period Holy Cross put one into the UMB net and tied things up.

The second period of play was entirely owned by Holy Cross. The Crusaders scored three goals and were in the lead for the first time in the series. The Beacons had a 5-3 power play advantage in the beginning of the second but came up empty and the period ended with the Beacons three goals behind.

The women seemed to have a chance in the third and final period of the game as Meliss Belmonte, assisted by Annie Larson and Katelyn Averill (#14), scored two minutes into the period. With less than two minutes left in the game, Larson put one in the Crusaders goal. Ciarletta had an assist in the play and obtained her 53rd ECAC Division III leading point (www.ecac.org). Unfortunately, the Beacons ran out of time and were left with a loss, splitting the series with Holy Cross.

The women now head to the playoffs and will face RIT. Dates will be announced as soon as they are available. Information on the team can be found at www.athletics.umb.edu/womens/whockey/index.htm.