SHELTON, Conn. – Senior forward Tiffany Herron (Clinton Township, Mich.) recorded her first career hat-trick and the Saint Anselm women's hockey team scored four unanswered goals over the final two periods to surge to a 6-2 non-conference victory over Sacred Heart University Saturday evening at the Sports Center of Connecticut.
Herron also scored the would-be game-winner in the waning seconds of the second period, and senior Sabrina Iannetti (Lynn, Mass.) added two goals as the Hawks wore down the Pioneer defense. Saint Anselm outshot Sacred Heart 55-10 for the game.
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak and improved the Hawks' season record to 7-3-1 overall. Sacred Heart dropped to 3-6 overall.
Power play conversions were another important feature of Saturday's matchup, as both teams scored a pair of goals on the evening. The Hawks went 2-for-5 in power play opportunities while the Pioneers were 2-for-4, scoring both of its goals with a Hawk in the box.
After a scoreless first period in which both teams appeared to be shaking off some rust, Iannetti finally broke through with her second goal of the season at the 5:23 mark of the second period off assists from junior Alex Kazmer (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and sophomore Martha Findley (Duxbury, Mass.). Just three minutes later, the Hawks' Alison Butler (Danvers, Mass.) was sent to the box for a checking penalty and the Pioneers took advantage. Seven seconds into the power play, Sacred Heart's Alanna Woodford beat Saint Anselm senior goaltender Lindsey Brown (Mounds View, Minn.) to tie the game at 1-1.
The Hawks reclaimed the lead on a beautiful goal from sophomore Alex Starzyk (Enfield, Conn.), whose tally came off assists from Kazmer and sophomore Meaghan Spurling (Byfield, Mass.). However that Saint Anselm lead would last all of 40 seconds as the Pioneers' Briana Connolly added another quick power play response to lock the game at 2-2.
With just about a minute left in the second period, SHU's Megan Ofner was sent to the pen for a two-minute cross-checking penalty and this time the Hawks made good on their 5-on-4 advantage. Herron came through with just eight seconds remaining in the period, putting away her first goal of the day from senior Franny Nicholson (Saint Paul, Minn.) off a pipe-ringing carom from Starzyk.
Fueled by that momentum-gaining buzzer-beater, Herron scored again just 28 seconds into the third period off assists from freshman Kaitlin Spillane (Franklin, Mass.) and junior Sarah Geisinger (Willoughby, Ohio). She also polished off the three-goal day at the 15-minute mark of the third off Geisinger's second assist.
Iannetti added a power play goal between Herron's pair of third period tallies, as Starzyk picked up a goal and two assists for a three-point day of her own.
Brown would record eight saves Saturday and take the win for Saint Anselm, improving her record to 4-0 on the season.
Saint Anselm will continue its 2015 road swing with a stop in Duluth, Minn., for a two-game series against the College of Saint Scholastica on Friday and Saturday next weekend. The trio of Nicholson, Brown and freshman Samantha Boyer (Saint Paul, Minn.) will skate on familiar ice as all three Hawks hail from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.