Power play goals the difference in women’s ice hockey loss to Holy Cross

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's ice hockey team was downed by the visiting Crusaders from the College of the Holy Cross on Saturday by a 2-0 margin.

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Saint Anselm (20-3-4, 15-2-3 NEWHA) loses for only the third time all season while Holy Cross (16-7-3, 15-3-2 NEWHA) tipped the Hawks for the second time this season.

Both teams will head into the upcoming New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) Tournament with first-round byes – the Hawks will host a semifinal game on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. against the winner of the NEWHA first round fixture, either Franklin Pierce or Saint Michael's.

With only 13 seconds left on the first period clock, Saint Anselm was whistled for a body checking penalty. With nine seconds elapsed on the power play and only four seconds left in the period, the Hawks won the faceoff and were unable to clear the zone. A blast from the point by Antonia Matzka provided the Crusaders shortly thereafter gave the visitors an early advantage.

After heavy offensive pressure following a 4-on-4, Holy Cross added a second power play marker with 11:32 left in regulation time to create a 2-0 bulge. Heavily entrenched in the offensive zone, Kara Violette one-timed a nifty cross-ice pass from Julie Matthias to set the final 2-0 score for the Crusaders.

The Hawks outshot Holy Cross by a 29-27 margin, but yielded both goals of the game on the power play where the Crusaders finished 2-for-5. Saint Anselm was held without a goal on five extra-man opportunities.

Sophomore Michaela Kane lost only her first collegiate game with the result despite stopping 27-of-29 shots. Senior Ashley Moran led Saint Anselm with eight blocked shots in the game as the Hawks tallied 26 as a team.

Marcia LaPlante moved to 6-0-0 on the year for Holy Cross, halting all 29 shots on net that she faced.

Five senior student-athletes from Saint Anselm were honored and recognized in a pregame ceremony. Those acknowledged include defenseman Jackie Guy, Moran, forward Kaitlyn Spillane, forward Paige Gorecki and defenseman Samantha Boyer. The five student-athletes have helped the Hawks to a record of 81-17-9 as the team has won no fewer than 18 games in any of their four seasons. Saint Anselm won the New England Hockey Conference regular season and Open tournament titles last season.