BOSTON — The championship game of the 46th annual Codfish Bowl Tournament featured a lot of penalties, special teams play and the goaltending of Bobby Leiser. The Fitchburg State junior amassed 58 saves including 27 in the third period to lead the Falcons to a 4-1 win.
“It must be the Curse of the Cod,” noted UMass-Boston head coach Peter Belisle. “He stopped everything. Last year the goalie makes 60 saves against us and this year, what 59? He made all of the first saves and really didn’t give us many second chances. If he did we couldn’t take advantage of them. We had some good opportunities and he came up big for them.
The first period saw UMB come out hard and on a delayed penalty call scored with the exrtra attacker on the ice. Freshman Travis Daniel scored his sixth of the season with assists from Eric Tufano and Anthony Fitti. But that goal was all the Beacons would get as Leiser stopped 18 of 19 in the first and shutdown the Beacons the rest of the way.
“I thought we got going in the second period after weathering the storm in the first,” said Falcon head coach Dean Fuller. “We did a great job killing penalties and then took advantage of some plays just putting pucks to the net.”
The Falcons tied the game on a goal by Codfish MVP Trevor Lawler who leveraged a solid screen infront of goalie Tom Speer and scored to the far corner from the high slot. The goal energized the Falcons who scored again with just over a minute and a half remaining for a 3-1 lead off the stick of Andrew Jones.
The third period was a barrage at the Fitchburg State end of the ice where Leiser was at his best. Outshot over the final 20 minutes by a 27-4 margin, the Falcons scored two goals in just over two minutes to take a commanding 4-1 lead. The first goal by Shawn Bradley was a fluky shot that deflected off Speer’s glove and fell into the back of the net while Brett Provost’s goal was a blast from the point that found the short side through a screen. The Falcons had all the goals they needed and now left it to Leiser’s acrobatics over the final 10 minutes.
“I talked to my defense after the first period and just said if I can get a good look, I’ll stop it,” noted Leiser. They did a great job clearing the front of the net and giving me good lanes to see the puck all night. It was a great win for the team.”
Both teams move to 7-3-0 on the season and return to league play in the New Year.