BOSTON, Mass. - A power-play goal by Emily Howard (Terryville, Conn.) at 6:53 in the first period, and a 43 save performance by Moe Bradley (Swampscott, Mass.) helped women's ice hockey continue their recent hot streak as they defeated Saint Anselm College by the final of 1-0 Saturday afternoon in the Clark Athletic Center Ice Arena in an ECAC East conference game.
The victory marked the first-ever for head coach Colleen Harris over the Hawks, and brought an end to Saint Anselm's nine-game win streak, which was the second longest in the country, coming into today. With the victory UMass improved to 6-6-3, 2-4-0 in the ECAC East. For the Hawks they fell to 12-2-0, 5-1-0 in the conference.
Howard's goal, which was the first of the season for the senior, was assisted by junior Tori Pizzuto (Waterbury, Conn.) and proved to be all the Beacons needed with Bradley between the pipes. With the Hawks serving a minor for checking UMass Boston's power-play unit stepped onto the ice. It would take just under a minute for the Beacons to finally get a solid chance on the man-up opportunity.
After a scary couple of seconds in their own, UMass broke out up the middle of the ice with the puck firmly attached to Pizzuto's stick. Just as two Hawks were about to converge on her she laid it off to the right for an anxious Howard who one-timed it past Lindsey Brown to give the Beacons the early 1-0 lead.
The first period proved to be an even back-and-forth affair with Saint Anselm leading in shots 10-6 going into the first intermission. However the Beacons one goal proved to be all the momentum they would need for the final two frames. In the second the Beacons tried to keep pace with their Division II rivals but it was all Hawks from start to finish as they outshot UMass 17-3.
Perhaps two of the best chances for the Hawks came midway through when they blasted two shots off of each post. Luckily both shots deflected off the posts and out keeping the Beacons lead intact.
After two completed periods, the frustration was being to mount for Saint Anselm as they saw their nine-game win streak in jeopardy.
As both teams retook the ice for the final period UMass knew they needed to keep their defensive dominance in check and limit their time in the penalty box. For Saint Anselm they knew they had to do something to get the puck past Bradley who at the point was playing at whole other level. Once again the offensive numbers favored the visitors heavily, but with the Beacons completely clogging the middle, Saint Anselm never really had a clear opportunity at goal.
Their best chance of really tying the game at 1-1 was when they fired the puck off of top corner, moments after Bradley's stick was dislodged from her hand. Just like the second period the Beacons would get the favorable bounce off the medal as time continued to wind down.
Saint Anselm would eventually pull Brown to gain the extra forward, but that nearly resulted in a Beacons empty netter in the closing seconds on a great clear by the Beacons backline. In total the defense combined for 13 blocked shots to help their junior netminder earn the huge win.
The victory marked the third of the year for Bradley, who now stands at 3-1-3. For Brown she finished Saturday's loss with 12 saves and fell to 8-2-0. With Saturday's standout performance, Bradley has now registered 123 saves in a 124 shots in her last three starts. The Beacons seven game unbeaten streak stands at 4-0-3.
UMass ended the day 1-for-3 on the power-play, while the Beacons penalty kill held the Hawks power-play, which ranked in the top-10 in the country to 0-for-6.
The Beacons return to action on Friday when they host Castleton State College at 4 p.m.