Champs: Rams take home first-ever Cod Fish Bowl title

Article by: Alex Mellion

Suffolk's hockey team after winning the program's first-ever Cod Fish Bowl championship on Dec. 30. Goalie Jeff Rose was named the tournament's MVP after saving 82 of 87 shots in two games.

The members of the Suffolk men’s hockey team earned themselves a late Christmas present this year: winning the 45th annual Cod Fish Bowl at UMass-Boston on Dec. 30.  This was the team’s fourth consecutive year playing in the Cod Fish Bowl, and the school’s first ever tournament title.

The Cod Fish Bowl is a yearly tournament and is the nation’s second-oldest hockey invitational, next to the Beanpot.  In addition to Suffolk, this year’s participants included Southern New Hampshire University, Johnson & Wales University and UMass Boston.  UMass Boston inherited hosting duties from Boston State College in 1982.  Suffolk was making its fourth straight appearance and became just one of seven teams in tournament history to play in four straight tournaments, and the first since Saint Anselm College appeared from 1997-2000.

“Winning the Cod Fish Bowl was a major moment in our history,” said head coach Chris Glionna. “It is a tournament with great history and now we can take our place among the winners.”

Suffolk’s two wins in the tournament were just the second and third Cod Fish Bowl wins in the program’s history.  The two wins did not come easily, however, as Suffolk battled back from deficits in both games.  In the semi-final game against Southern New Hampshire, the Rams found themselves down 3-2 in the third period before senior Niles Moore scored two goals, the second being the eventual game winner.  By beating Southern New Hampshire, the Rams earned themselves a spot in the championship game against host UMass Boston, who had beaten Johnson & Wales.

Against UMass Boston, the Rams again found themselves trailing 1-0, before Moore tied the score at the 16:50 mark of the second period.  Freshman Andrew Flynn scored the game-winning goal with just two seconds left in the second period, and senior goalie Jeff Rose was able to withstand an onslaught of 22 shots in the third period to help preserve the win.

“I feel that being able to come back and win both those games was huge,” said goalie and tournament MVP Jeff Rose. “We showed a lot of heart being able to battle in both games, especially when at times things may not have been going our way.”

Rose was able to save 82 of the 87 shots he faced in the two tournament games, including 52 of 53 in the championship game.

Putting his herculean efforts aside, Rose credited the entire team for the Cod Fish Bowl win.

”Brian Smusz had some big blocked shots that were key towards the end of the games,” noted Rose. “I think everyone would agree in saying he’s one of our unsung heroes in the defensive zone.”

Since the tournament, the team has hit a bit of a rough patch, going just 1-3 over their last four games with their lone win coming against Western New England College, but Gilonna still has high expectations for this team.

“Tying nationally ranked Curry College and playing Wentworth down to the wire makes me think we can make a serious run in the ECAC tournament,” he said. “This is one of the toughest leagues in the country, but our strong non-conference schedule hopefully will have us ready for league play.”

The Rams played a home game last night against Becker College that ended too late for this edition. The team is back in action again on Saturday when they host Johnson & Wales at 4 p.m.