MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sophomore defenseman Haley Marshall tallied a career-high four points on two goals and two assists to lead the Saint Anselm College women's ice hockey into the championship game of the New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) Tournament by virtue of a 7-1 victory over Franklin Pierce University on Saturday afternoon at Sullivan Arena.
Top-seeded Saint Anselm (21-3-4) started quickly, scoring exactly one minute into the game as part of a four-goal first period and cruised from there to fly past fourth-seeded Franklin Pierce (15-2-2). The win earned the Hawks a matchup with third-seeded Sacred Heart in Sunday's title game after the Pioneers downed second-seeded Holy Cross, 3-1, in the first semifinal.
Marshall's four points eclipsed her previous career-high three from a 6-1 win over Post on Jan. 26. Seniors Ashley Moran and Samantha Boyer each handed out three assists in the victory, NEWHA Co-Rookie of the Year Katy Meehan recorded a goal and an assist and junior Caley Mueller had her first-career two-goal game.
Sophomore goaltender Michaela Kane established a new career high with 27 saves for Saint Anselm to run her record to 8-1-1 on the season in 10 starts. Kane has allowed just 10 goals in her 10 starts this season.
Just a minute into the game, Meehan put the Hawks on top, skating into the offensive zone on the left and picking out the top-left corner for her team-best 16th goal of the season. Boyer started the play, tipping the puck ahead to Meehan in the neutral zone for her first of three assists in the game.
Saint Anselm added three goals in the span of 5:12 later in the opening period to seize control. At 12:19, the Hawks made it 2-0 on a short-handed breakaway goal by Madison Sprague after senior Paige Gorecki blocked a shot that sprung the rookie. Just 41 seconds later, Spillane powered past the Ravens' defense and beat Madison Murray from the low edge of the right circle for her team's third goal. Less than five minutes later, Marshall teed up a slap shot from just inside the blue line that found the top-right corner on the power play from both Moran and Boyer.
Marshall and Mueller accounted for Saint Anselm's two second-period goals to stretch the lead to 6-0. Marshall scored her second of the game at the 12:00 mark, again picking out the top-right corner from the top of the right circle. Mueller scored her first of two power-play goals at 18:48, benefitting from a Boyer shot that ricocheted in off Mueller and a Franklin Pierce defenseman.
Early in the third, Mueller pocketed another power-play goal, her team's third in three chances in the game, scoring from Moran and Marshall at 3:32 to run the Hawks' lead to 7-0. Marissa Massaro grabbed a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 11:19 for the Ravens at 11:19 as she redirected a Delaney Guimont shot to get her team on the board.
Murray made 12 stops in the first period for Franklin Pierce, before giving way to Kelly Turney, who stopped 12 shots over the final two periods. Saint Anselm held a 31-28 advantage in shots on goal in the game, but killed off six-of-seven Franklin Pierce power plays.
The Hawks meet Sacred Heart with the NEWHA Tournament title on the line on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. from Sullivan Arena. Franklin Pierce and Holy Cross will play for third at noon.