MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's ice hockey team was forced to settle for a 4-4 tie as Sacred Heart University scored in the final minute of regulation in a back-and-forth game on Friday evening at Sullivan Arena.
In a matchup of two of the top-five scoring offenses in NCAA Divisions I/II, Saint Anselm (18-2-4, 13-1-3 NEWHA) took a 4-3 lead on a goal by freshman Katy Meehan at 16:20 of the third, but Sacred Heart (22-5-2, 11-4-2 NEWHA) got a goal from Meghan Kebalka with 58 seconds remaining to tie the game. Neither team managed a shot on goal in the overtime period as both teams extended their unbeaten streaks to eight-straight games.
Freshman Nicole Saber was one of four Hawks with multi-point nights, recording a goal and an assist, while Jackie Guy, Kaley Campbell and Samantha Boyer each had a pair of assists. Taylor Moreland, the nation's fourth-leading scorer in terms of points per game, had two goals and an assist for Sacred Heart, which recovered from deficits of 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 in the game.
After a scoreless first period, the teams combined for five goals in the second. Senior Kaitlyn Spillane opened the scoring at 4:01 off assists from Boyer and Campbell. From the left point, Boyer found Campbell down low on the left, Campbell threw the puck at the net and Spillane was there to jam in a loose puck for her seventh point in the last three games.
Sophomore Amanda Conger doubled the Hawks' lead 5:04 later, re-directing the puck in from the slot after Guy fired a shot towards the goal from the right point. The lead, however, was short-lived, as Moreland scored twice in less than five minutes for the Pioneers to tie the game at 2-2 with 4:38 left in the second.
Saber sent Saint Anselm into the second intermission with the lead courtesy of her third goal of the season, giving her the first multi-point night of her freshman season. From the left boards, Saber threw the puck at the net and it found its way to the back of the net to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead.
After Jordan Sanislo had tied the game at 3-3 midway through the third, Meehan put Saint Anselm back on top at the 16:20 mark. Campbell won control of the puck behind the Sacred Heart net and dropped it back to Meehan, who blasted it in from near the right point.
The Pioneers again fought back, tying the game at with 58 seconds to go through Kebalka. Out of a timeout and with the Sacred Heart net empty, Moreland won a faceoff back to Jayne Lewis on the left side and Lewis found Kebalka with a back-door pass for a one-timer in close on the right. Kebalka's goal was the final shot on goal in the game as the teams settled for a 4-4 tie in the series opener.
Saint Anselm held a 28-22 advantage in shots on goal in the game. Maddie Scavotto made 18 saves for the Hawks, while Sarah Erban had 24 for the Pioneers. Saint Anselm was 0-for-5 on the power play and killed off its lone penalty of the game.
The two teams meet for the fourth and final time during the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. at Sullivan Arena.