MANCHESTER, N.H. – Elizabeth Scala scored 2:56 into overtime for top-seeded Holy Cross to give the Crusaders a 4-3 victory over the second-seeded Saint Anselm College women's ice hockey team in the championship game of the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Open on Sunday at Sullivan Arena.
Scala scored unassisted from close range early in the extra session to clinch the sixth NEHC Open crown for Holy Cross (24-3-0). Saint Anselm (21-6-0) was seeking its league-high seventh title in the tournament's 14th season and had won three of the last four NEHC Open championships.
Alison Butler scored all three goals for the Hawks and six different skaters recorded one assist each. Saint Anselm held a 27-18 advantage in shots in the game, including a margin of 22-10 over the second and third periods.
Holy Cross took an early lead when Danielle Doherty latched onto a stretch pass from Erin Hall to score on a breakaway at 2:43 of the opening period. Doherty's goal was the lone tally of the first period, as the Crusaders outshot the Hawks 7-5 in the first 20 minutes.
Butler's first goal of the game tied the contest at 1-1 early in the second period. Butler skated in from the left wing and unleashed a shot that went in off the crossbar with Jessica Galiczewski and Alison Quinn earning assists.
Butler gave Saint Anselm its first and only lead of the game midway through the second period, scoring from Halle Kent and Jackie Guy at 10:28. Her second goal came off a rebound from a Kent shot from the point and put the Hawks ahead 2-1.
Sam Girard struck unassisted with 1:07 remaining in the second period for Holy Cross to tie the game at 2-2 after 40 minutes. Holy Cross took a 3-2 lead 5:40 into the third on an unassisted wraparound goal by Kara Violette.
Hannah Synnott made 14 saves and finished the season 19-4-0 for Saint Anselm. Tessie Salatas improved to 14-0-0 by making 24 saves for Holy Cross.
Following the game, Butler and Kent were named to the All-Tournament Team. Butler scored all three of her goals of the tournament in the title game, while Kent had an assist in each of Saint Anselm's two games.
The game was the final contest in the collegiate careers of Kent, Nina Gozzi, Sarah Geisinger, Marianne Kristiansen, Alex Kazmer and Jessica Galiczewski. The senior class helped the Hawks win three NEHC Open titles and amassed a record of 82-19-6.