DULUTH, Minn. – Junior forward Sarah Geisinger (Willoughby, Ohio) scored the game-winning power play goal midway through the third period and senior goaltender Lindsey Brown (Mounds View, Minn.) put up an inspired performance in her home state as the Saint Anselm women's hockey team salvaged a weekend series split with a 2-1 victory over the College of Saint Scholastica Saturday afternoon at Mars Lakeview Arena.
The win bumps Saint Anselm to 8-4-1 overall, eclipsing the halfway point of the 2014-15 season Saturday. Saint Scholastica, which beat the Hawks 5-2 Friday night, fell to 7-5-1 overall.
Geisinger's score came as the Hawks took control on a power play opportunity near the 10-minute mark of the third stanza. Freshman Jackie Guy (Saint Louis, Mo.) rocketed a shot from the right circle that was saved by Saints goaltender Lindsey Hartfiel. However, the deflection off Hartfiel's right pad caromed directly to the stick of sophomore Alison Quinn (Canton, Mass.), who dropped it neatly to Geisinger on the wide-open left post to break the 1-1 tie.
Brown was simply impressive throughout the game—particularly in the final half of the third period to preserve her blemish-free fifth win of the season. With an empty net situation for the Saints with less than a minute remaining, Brown made consecutive outstanding stops on a pair of shots from prolific CSS scorers Nina Waidacher and Nikki Logergren, racking up her 24th and 25th saves of the night.
In that dramatic finish, a 6-on-5 situation for the Saints became 6-on-4 as during the ensuing scrum in front of the net, Saint Anselm sophomore Meghan Spurling (Byfield, Mass.) was whistled for an interference penalty. After a quick CSS timeout, Geisinger stepped into the circle and won perhaps the most important faceoff of the season as the Hawks managed to control the puck until the final buzzer sounded.
In contrast to Friday's loss, Saint Anselm appeared much more refreshed early on, dominating the action throughout the first period. Senior forward Tiffany Herron (Clinton Township, Mich.) notched her seventh goal of the season at the 3:08 mark of the first period, putting away the score off her own rebound. The Hawks outshot the Saints 11-5 in the first period alone.
Saint Scholastica turned the tide after the first intermission, outshooting the Hawks 15-3 in the second. Even with the Hawks on a power play, CSS's Waidacher evened the score with a nifty breakaway short-handed goal just 1:16 into the second period. However, Brown would settle in and keep the Saints from doing any further damage over the final 39 minutes of action.
Saint Anselm will continue its grueling month of road games this upcoming weekend with a trip to ECAC Women's East leader Norwich on Friday evening. The Hawks will then travel to intrastate and league rival Plymouth State on Saturday afternoon for a 2 p.m. matinee against the Panthers.