Dec. 29, 2010
BOSTON, MA - Senior forward Matt Atsoff (Macomb, MI) netted two first period goals to lift the University of Massachusetts Boston men's ice hockey team over Assumption College, 6-1, in the opening round of the 46th Annual Codfish Bowl, the second oldest college hockey invitational in the country, at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of University of Massachusetts Boston. With the win, the Beacons advance to the Codfish Bowl championship for the second consecutive season and the 19th time in program history to face Fitchburg State University, 8-6 winners over Wentworth Institute of Technology in the other first round match-up, tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 p.m. UMass Boston, who received five votes in the most recent USCHO.com national poll, improves to 7-2-0 on the season to match the 1987-88 season for the best start in the program's history. The loss drops the Ice Dogs to 5-6-0 on the year.
Atsoff got things started just 2:45 into the game, potting his sixth goal of the season with the assists coming from freshman forward Travis Daniel (North Brunswick, NJ) and senior forward Eric Tufman (Abington, PA). Tufman as well as freshman defensemen Cameron Harvey (Bow, NH) would find Atsoff again at the 15:37 mark for his second tally of the period to give the Beacons a 2-0 advantage heading into the first intermission, despite being outshot by Assumption, 9-7, in the period.
UMass Boston made it a 3-0 game on freshman forward Michael Kuhn's (Holbrook, MA) first collegiate goal midway through the second period. Kuhn was assisted by classmate Mark Grinhaus (Scarsdale, NY) and senior forward Vinnie Jacona (East Stroudsburg, PA) at 10:04 in the middle frame. The Ice Dogs would answer, breaking into the scoring column on a Mike Janson tally. Janson was assisted by Jamie Vona (West Seneca, NY) and Ross White (Uxbridge, MA) to cut the UMass Boston lead to 3-1 with 5:02 to play in the second.
The Beacons would put the game out of reach with three unanswered scores in the third period. Sophomore blueliner Rob Florentino (West Roxbury, MA) made it s 4-1 contest with his fifth marker of the year at the 3:34 mark after he was set up by junior defensemen John Hubbard (Arlington, TX) on the power play. Less than five minutes late, Daniel got into the scoring column with his fifth goal of the campaign, potting a crafting score on a backhand shot to beat junior goaltender Nick Blanchette (Stuart, FL) at the 7:52 mark in the third to put UMass Boston on top, 5-1. Daniel was assisted by Hubbard and junior forward Chris Wyman (Bartlett, IL). Jacona rounded out the Beacon's scoring effort, connecting on his third tally of the season with 8:32 remaining in the contest with the help of an assist from Kuhn.
Blanchett finished with a game-high 37 saves for Assumption while junior netminder Kevin Bendel (Denville, NJ) made 26 saves in net for the home squad to earn the victory and improve to 4-1-0 on the season.
The game featured phyiscal play on both ends that resulted in 29 penalties and 107 total penalty minutes. UMass Boston did not let it phase them, holding Assumption scoreless on the power play as the Ice Dogs went 0-for-9 on the man advantage. The Beacons went 2-8 on the power play.
Tomorrow's championship contest at 5:00 p.m. features UMass Boston and Fitchburg State University in a rematch of the 2007 and 2001 title games. The Beacons captured the 2007 meeting with a 5-4 overtime victory while the Falcons came away with a 7-2 win in the 2001 championship match.