Hockey Falls 3-1 to Host UMass Boston in Opening Round of 54th Codfish Bowl

BOSTON – Host UMass Boston defeated Tufts 3-1 in the opening round of the 54th Annual Codfish Bowl Tournament in Friday afternoon men's hockey action.

Justin Brandt scored his second goal of the year late in the second period

The Beacons (12-2), ranked eighth in the US College Hockey Online DIII poll, received 31 saves by junior goalie Bailey MacBurnie and a goal and assist from freshman Evan Rochowiak. They will face the winner of today's other semi-final game between Bryn Athyn and SUNY Cortland in the championship game on Saturday at 4 pm.

Tufts, led by 34 saves from sophomore goalie Drew Hotte, dropped to 4-6 overall. The Jumbos will face either Bryn Athyn or Cortland in Saturday's consolation game at 1 pm.

The hosts took a 1-0 lead five minutes into the first period this afternoon. Nick Albano's shot from the right point was tipped on goal by Nolan Redler. Hotte stopped the shot, but was unable to glove it. With the rebound behind the net, Rochowaik put a pass through his legs to Zack Bross who scored his sixth goal of the year at the right post.

The Jumbos' best opportunity of the opening period came on a power-play with eight minutes remaining in the frame when junior assistant captain Machlan Sawden collected the puck in the slot and had an open shot that MacBurnie saved.

The Beacons then scored just 14 seconds into the second period. Daniel Nachbaur (two assists) won a face-off back to Ethan Nitkin, whose shot through traffic from the top of the left face-off circle went in.

Five minutes into the second period Jumbo freshman Angus Scott hit the post as Tufts tried to cut the lead in half. Scott soon after had another good opportunity from the slot that he tried to put through the five-hole, but MacBurnie closed the pads for another save.

UMass Boston controlled most of the second period and pushed the margin to 3-0. At the 9:59 mark Nachbaur took the puck into the offensive zone and beat a Tufts defender on the left side to shoot a pass across the ice where a charging Rochowiak scored his first goal of the season.

Despite UMass Boston out-shooting Tufts 17-10 in the middle stanza, Tufts was able to cut into the lead late in the frame as freshman Justin Brandt scored at 18:41. Just moments earlier, Brandt had been stuffed at the left post by MacBurnie. However, as play continued, Tufts junior Anthony Farinacci gathered the puck behind the net and moved out front where he found Brandt wide open at the back door for the goal.

The Jumbos then got a power play with 29 seconds remaining in the second period with a chance to pull closer. However, they weren't able to make much of the opportunity that extended 90 seconds into the third.

At 14:51 of the final period, UMass Boston's Dakota Keane had a good shot from close range which Hotte saved. On the rebound Keane tried to bang it inside left post, but Hotte dove to smother the puck keeping the margin at two.

Tufts would have the better of possession in the third period. However, on a late power play they were unable to put a shot on goal. The Jumbos then called time-out with 2:13 remaining in regulation and pulled Hotte. They swarmed the Beacon end with opportunities, but MacBurnie made five saves during this time to cap his stand-out performance.

Nachbaur won 18 of 23 face-offs for the winners, while defenseman Gabe Chuckran finished at +3. Junior Tyler Scroggins' 12 face-off victories led Tufts.