MANCHESTER, N.H. – Alex Starzyk became the sixth player in program history to reach the 100-point milestone and Amanda Conger netted the game-winning goal late in the second period as the Saint Anselm College women's hockey team downed New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) rival the College of the Holy Cross 3-2 on Friday afternoon at Sullivan Arena.
Starzyk entered the game with 98 points to her credit and reached the milestone with a first-period assist and the game-tying goal in the second period for Saint Anselm (8-1-0, 7-1-0 NEHC). Holy Cross (8-2-0, 5-1-0 NEHC) took a 2-1 lead early period two but Conger followed Starzyk's power-play goal with the game-winner at 14:36 of the second to help the Hawks rally for the win.
The loss was Holy Cross' first in NEHC play this season and moved Saint Anselm into first place in the conference as Norwich had the day off. The Hawks and Crusaders have combined to win the last 10 ECAC/NEHC Open titles and had met in the postseason in each of the last six seasons.
Saint Anselm outshot Holy Cross 12-2 in the opening period and was rewarded with the opening goal from McNamara at the 12:14 mark, as Starzyk fed the sophomore in front from near the left boards. Megan Klaus also picked up a helper on McNamara's fourth goal of the year.
In a second period that saw a combined nine penalties called, the Crusaders cashed in with two power-play goals in the first 6:17 to take the lead. Maeve Reilly brought Holy Cross even at 1-1 just 1:30 into the second with an unassisted power-play goal and Julie Matthias put the visitors ahead with her seventh goal of the season a little less than five minutes later.
However, Starzyk gave the Hawks a power-play goal of their own five minutes after Matthias' goal, as the senior raced out of the penalty box and crashed the goal to put home a loose puck in the crease. Caley Mueller and Jackie Guy were credited with assists as Mueller took the initial shot off a pass from Guy.
Just 2:21 later, Conger provided the game-winning goal for Saint Anselm, racing into the zone 1-on-3 and throwing a shot that went off Holy Cross goaltender Tessie Salatas' shoulder and into the net. Maura Kieft and Meaghan Spurling recorded assists after sprining Conger on the break.
The Hawks hung on for the win in the third period despite being outshot 15-5 in the final 20 minutes. Saint Anselm killed off nearly a full 5-on-3 power-play chance for Holy Cross early in the third period.
Maddie Scavotto extended her unbeaten start to the season to 6-0-0 by making a career-high 23 saves for Saint Anselm. Salatas fell to 5-2-0 on the season despite making 25 saves for the Crusaders.
The Hawks wrap up the weekend with a trip to Bowdoin for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday, Dec. 3.