Women's ice hockey tops St. Scholastica, 3-2

DULUTH, MINN. – The Saint Anselm College women's ice hockey team concluded its trip in Minnesota with a 3-2 victory over the College of St. Scholastica on Friday night at the Mars Lakeview Arena.

Box Score

The Hawks improve to 12-2-1 while the Saints fall to 8-2-1 on the year.

The Hawks were heavily outplaying the hosts with a ton of pressure in the first 11 minutes. The Saints finally succumbed to it and Saint Anselm scored just before 12 minutes ticked off the clock with a goal by sophomore Madison Sprague (White Bear Lake, Minn.). She wrapped the puck around from behind the net and it went over the head of Saints goalie Lexi Thomeczek. Junior Jamie Gottwald (Easton, Mass.) extended Saint Anselm's lead with a breakaway marker with 4:29 remaining in the opening stanza.

St. Scholastica nearly cut the lead in half while shorthanded. Taylor Thompson beat one defender and skated all the way towards the net but a stick save by junior goaltender Michaela Kane (Haverhill, Mass.) on a backhanded attempt kept the Hawks up by a pair.

However, with time winding down, the Saints finally broke through with a power play goal with six seconds left in the opening period. Rachel Anderson came from behind the net and put the puck behind Kane to make it 2-1 in favor of the Hawks. 

The teams had plenty of chances to score again in the second period. A two-on-one breakaway for the Saints midway through the period almost knotted the game at two. However, Kane made a good left-to-right save to keep the Hawks ahead by one. St. Scholastica had another power play chance with 8:17 left in the second period but the Hawks blocked a pair of shots and Kane came up with a tough save to keep it a one-goal advantage.

Senior Caley Mueller (Littleton, Colo.) nearly added to the Hawks lead with 3:57 left in the second but her shot clanked off of the crossbar. However, the teams skated into the second intermission with the same score of 2-1.

The Saints went on the power play with 5:09 gone in the third period. Kane made one save during the duration while her defense blocking a pair of shots to keep St. Scholastica from cutting into the lead. The Hawks answered following the penalty kill and added to their lead at the 7:20 mark of the final stanza. Sophomore Kathleen LeFebre (Methuen, Mass.) took a shot from the left side before classmate Jayden Young (Norwood, N.Y.) picked up the rebound in front and put the puck in the net for a 3-1 lead.

The Saints went on another power play with just over seven minutes left in the third, putting three shots on net. Although they could not score on the power play, the Saints scored with 1:23 left in regulation to make it 3-2 Hawks. Amber Tilander skated into the offensive zone, beating one Saint Anselm defender. She skated into the slot and sniped the top-right corner. The Saints nearly tied the game with nine seconds left but Kane made the easy save to hold on for the one goal win.

Kane finished the game with 17 saves in net while improving to 5-0 on the year. Thomeczek stopped 27 shots for the Saints. The Hawks outshot their opponent 30-19.

The Hawks return home on Friday, Jan. 11 to take on the Beacons from UMass-Boston at Sullivan Arena for a 4 p.m. puck drop.