WINCHENDON, Mass. – Sophomore Alison Butler (Danvers, Mass.) scored two goals and senior Tiffany Herron (Clinton Township, Mich.) added a third as the Saint Anselm women's hockey team kept its unbeaten streak alive with a 3-1 victory over ECAC East rival Franklin Pierce Friday evening.
The win was a big one for Saint Anselm, which improved to 12-4-2 overall and 8-1-2 in the ECAC East, lengthened its span to six games, owning a 5-0-1 record since an early January loss at Saint Scholastica. The Ravens fell to 14-3-1 overall and 8-2 in league action.
After skating to an evenly played and scoreless first period, Butler rocketed a quick wrister past Raven goaltender Shannon O'Neil for the game's first tally. She took the feed from sophomore Alex Starzyk (Enfield, Conn.) from the right wing corner for her seventh score of the year. It was Starzyk's 11th assist of the season and sophomore Alison Quinn (Canton, Mass.) picked up her 10th with a secondary assist on the play.
The Hawks skated much of the third period clinging to that one-goal lead before Herron, skating in her first game since eclipsing the 100-point career mark last Saturday afternoon against Holy Cross, notched a power-play tally to double that lead off an assist from senior Franny Nicholson (Saint Paul, Minn.). Herron cleanly beat O'Neil from the left circle after taking the pass from Nicholson at the blue line to notch her 10th goal of the season at the 9:52 mark of the third.
Butler then made it 3-0 on another blast over the shoulder of O'Neil into the upper right quadrant, this time from the right circle. Senior Sabrina Iannetti (Lynn, Mass.) dropped the pass to Butler in picking up her fifth assist of the season.
After skating relatively cleanly for the past few games, the Hawks were whistled for 16 minutes of penalties Friday evening. The final two against Saint Anselm would prove the most costly as freshman Jackie Guy (Saint Louis, Mo.) and sophomore Meaghan Spurling (Byfield, Mass.) picked up tripping penalties with just over two minutes remaining. That 5-on-3 power play would create the necessary opportunity, as Franklin Pierce broke up the shutout with a Colleen Doucette jam-home with just 15 seconds remaining in the game.
Regardless of the late-sacrificed goal, senior Lindsey Brown (Mounds View, Minn.) picked up her fourth straight win and improved to 9-0-1 on the year. Brown also tallied 20 saves while O'Neil recorded 30 saves in the loss.
Coming into Friday's showdown, Franklin Pierce and Saint Anselm were tied for second-place in the ECAC East standings with 16 points apiece and both were in pursuit of league-leading Norwich. While the Cadets' 2-1 win over Plymouth State Friday night held their lead, the Hawks moved into sole possession of second place just one point behind.
Saint Anselm will have a full week off before venturing to nearby New England College for a 4 p.m. matchup with the Pilgrims in Henniker, N.H., on Friday, Feb. 6. The Hawks will then host the University of New England on Saturday, Feb. 7, in a 3 p.m. start.