Seahawks Stun Bulldogs in First-Ever Meeting at the Codfish Bowl in Boston, Mass.

Vincent Paquette and Brian Bachnak celebrate a Bulldogs goal earlier this season. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Vincent Paquette and Brian Bachnak celebrate a Bulldogs goal earlier this season. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

BOSTON--Salve Regina University scored three goals in the opening 4 minutes and 32 seconds of the third period to break open a close game in a 6-2 victory Friday over Adrian College in the second game of the 53rd annual Codfish Bowl men's hockey tournament hosted by UMASS-Boston. Adrian will play Williams College in Saturday's third-place game at 1 p.m., as the Ephs lost 9-3 to the host Beacons in the Codfish opener today.

THE BASICS
= Final Score: Salve Regina University 6, Adrian College 2

= Location: Edward T. Barry Ice Rink at the Clark Athletic Center; Boston, Mass.

= Records: Salve Regina Seahawks 9-3-2 overall; Adrian Bulldogs 8-4 overall

= National Rankings: Adrian--#2 D3hockey.com, #2 USCHO.com polls; Salve Regina--"receiving votes" in D3hockey (2 points) and USCHO (3 points).

TOP 'DAWGS
= Sophomores Dino Balsamo and Ryan Cusin each had a goal and an assist for Adrian.

= Junior Trevor Boyd and Balsamo tied for the team lead with six shots on goal.

= Senior assistant captain Taylor McCloy (13-for-19) and junior Chase Matson (9-of-14) dominated the face-off circle.

THE OPPOSITION
= Goaltender Blake Wojtala stopped 38 of 40 shots he faced, including making 16 saves alone in the second period when Adrian knotted the score 2-2.

= Jack Billings had a game-high four points on two goals and two assists, with five shots, a plus-5 rating and five face-offs won in nine draws.

= Pat Thompson added two tallies and an assist.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Adrian outshot SRU by a 40 to 24 count, but the Seahawks scored a pair of shorthanded goals.

= Shaun Patry scored the go-ahead goal to break a 2-2 deadlock at the 1:10 mark of the third period, and Colin Clapton made it 4-2 just 21 seconds later.

= Thompson added insurance goals later in the game on a short-hander and empty-netter.

= Billings staked SRU to leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the first period after capitalizing on turnovers. He opened the scoring at the midpoint when he forced an AC miscue at his defensive blueline and skated the other way on a breakaway to beat freshman Nikita Babintsev through the goalie pads for the shorthanded marker. Then with 33 seconds left, Timothy Sweeney controlled a loose puck as the Bulldogs defense tried to clear their zone along the left-wing boards and fed Billings alone in the slot to restore the one-goal lead.

= Adrian got on the scoreboard at 18:13 of the first period as Balsamo pounced on a rebound in the goal crease to beat Wojtala to the puck.

= Cusin scored the only goal of the second period to pull Adrian even at 2-2, wristing a shot from the right face-off circle over the left glove-hand of Wojtala.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
=This afternoon marked the first meeting between the programs.

= Adrian's three-game losing streak is its first since the 2009-10 campaign. The Bulldogs have never lost four in a row in their 11-year history.

= Cusin played the 2016-17 season for the UMASS-Beacons, winning several accolades during his rookie season. He was named the New England Hockey Conference Freshman of the Year, All-NEHC Third Team and All-USCHO Rookie Team.

= The Bulldogs are in their first appearance at the 53rd annual Codfish Bowl, which is one of the oldest in-season tournaments in NCAA men's hockey.

= Salve Regina is out of the Division III Commonwealth Coast Conference.

UP NEXT
= After Adrian and Williams meet in the third-place game Saturday, the Bulldogs will turn the page on 2017 and begin the New Year in Hartford, Conn., where they will play fellow 2017 NCAA Semifinalist Trinity College at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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