Manchester, N.H. (March 1) -- In the first semi-final game of the ECAC Women's Open Hockey Tournament, the first-seeded Saint Anselm women's hockey team rolled past fourth-seeded Saint Michael's, 7-0, on Saturday afternoon at Sullivan Arena. The win improves the Hawks to 22-2-1, while the loss drops the Ice Knights to 8-15-1.
The Hawks drew first blood late in the first period. Kelsey Johnson (Byfield, Mass.) slid one past Saint Michael's goaltender, Melanie Cullen (Derry, N.H.), on the power play for her team-leading 20th goal of the season at the 16:29 mark. Kathleen Twomey (Londonderry, N.H.) and Alexa Hingston (Charlestown, Mass.) assisted on the goal. The Hawks took the slim 1-0 lead into the second period.
The Hawks struck for two more power-play goals in the second period, increasing the lead to 3-0. Arianna Rigano (Malden, Mass.) scored her 19th goal of the season at the 6:40 mark on the power play, assisted by Daniella Lyons (Greene, Maine) and Brittany Kretzman (Edina, Minn.). Twomey found the back of the net on the power play, beating Cullen glove-side in the top corner for her 13th goal of the season at the 13:03 mark, assisted by Kasey Cedorchuk (Charlestown, Mass.) and Andrea Berlin (Durham, N.H.). The Hawks added a late period goal with just 1:10 remaining. Bianca DeSantis (Georgetown, Mass.) picked up a loose puck in the slot and beat Cullen glove-side. Rigano and Cindy Lebel (Greenville, Maine) assisted on the goal. The Hawks took the 4-0 lead into the third period.
The Hawks continued their power-play success in the third period, as Hingston scored at the 1:51 mark on the power play for her eighth goal of the season, assisted by Twomey and Arden Lyons (Westford, Mass.). Johnson picked up her second goal of the game and 21st of the season at the 9:25 mark. Twomey assisted on the goal, her third assist of the game. On a four-on-four at the 16:01 mark, Tiea Kurlowecz (Concord, Mass.) scored, assisted by Cedorchuk, to finish off the scoring for the Hawks.
Cullen made 36 saves in the loss for the Ice Knights, while Berlin made six saves in her sixth shutout of the season for the Hawks.
The Hawks return to the ice tomorrow for the championship game, playing the winner of the second-seeded Sacred Heart Pioneers and the third-seeded Holy Cross Crusaders at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 2nd at Sullivan Arena. Saint Michael's plays the loser of that game in the consolation game at 1 p.m. at Sullivan Arena.