WORCESTER, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College women's ice hockey team jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the first period, but the College of the Holy Cross scored twice in the third period and eventually won the game in overtime, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon in a New England Hockey Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon.
The Hawks fall to 18-5-0 overall and 12-3-0 in the NEHC, while the Crusaders improve to 21-2-0 and 13-2-0 in conference games.
Saint Anselm scored first as Caley Mueller (Littleton, Colo.) worked the puck free from a scrum on the right side of the net and back to Alison Butler (Danvers, Mass.), who potted her fifth goal of the weekend to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead only 2:25 into the first period.
Less than four minutes later, Kaitlyn Spillane (Franklin, Mass.) stole the puck from a defender in the slot and beat the Holy Cross goalie on the low glove side to put Saint Anselm in front 2-1 after two periods of play.
Both teams were held scoreless in the second period as the Hawks and Crusaders attempted 10 shots apiece in the period and combined to go 0-for-3 on power play chances. Hannah Synnott (Montclair, N.J.) made a pair of tough saves in the frame as she stoned Mackenzie Boardman on a wrist shot and Izzy Bagi on a slap shot after a face-off.
The Crusaders tallied their first goal of the game 5:31 into the third period as Julie Matthias went top-shelf with a wrist shot to cut the deficit in half at 2-1. Synott kept the Crusaders off the board later in the period as she made a pad save at the 12:49 mark off a shot from Taylor McGee and later stopped Kara Violette on a penalty shot to keep it a 2-1 game headed into the final five minutes of play.
As the game entered the final two minutes of play, Violette netted the equalizer on the power play off a pass from Elizabeth Scala to send the game into overtime. Izzy Bagi also picked up an assist on the play.
Holy Cross claimed the win at the 1:53 mark of overtime when Matthias redirected a shot by McGee from the blue line and past the low glove side of Synnott for the 3-2 victory.
The Crusaders held a slight 33-31 advantage in shots for the game, while the Hawks went 0-for-4 on the power play compared to a 1-for-6 showing from Holy Cross. Hannah Synnott stopped 29-of-32 shots on the night in the setback, while Tessie Salatas improved to 12-0-0 and made 29 saves.
Saint Anselm travels to Salve Regina University on Friday, February 19, for a New England Hockey Conference matchup scheduled for 7:00 p.m.