Women's ice hockey claims 2018-19 NEWHA Championship

Women's ice hockey claims 2018-19 NEWHA Championship

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The top-seeded Saint Anselm College women's ice hockey team capped off the most successful season in program history on Sunday, winning the 2019 New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) Tournament Championship game. The Hawks defeated the fourth-seeded Ravens from Franklin Pierce University, 3-0, at Sullivan Arena.

Box Score | Video Highlights | NEWHA Championship Photo Gallery

Sunday's result over Franklin Pierce was Saint Anselm's eighth postseason title in team history and the first since claiming the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Open Championship in 2016-17. The Hawks are 22-5-2 all-time in postseason play since the program's varsity-level inception in 2004-05.

The Hawks (25-3-1) capped off the 2018-19 season with 25 overall victories, setting a program record with Sunday's result. Dating back to the 2010-11 campaign, the Hawks have lost no more than six games in an academic year and have racked up an overall record of 190-40-1 (.805) since that season. Across 11 seasons on the Hilltop, head coach Kerstin Matthews owns a 221-60-19 (.768) record across exactly 300 career games at Saint Anselm.

The team also wrapped up this season with 133 goals and 332 points of offense (133-199=332), the second-best marks in team history.

Junior tri-captain Amanda Conger (Swanton, Vt.) was named Most Outstanding Player of the entire 2019 NEWHA Tournament. She had three goals and three assists across two games, scoring the game-winning goals in each game.

The All-Tournament team also included senior goaltender Maddie Scavotto (Falmouth, Mass.), junior defenseman Gabby Monaco (La Verne, Calif.) and freshman forward Kelly Golini (Tewksbury, Mass.). 

Scavotto finished her career at the Hilltop with a 43-6-6 record over 55 games and a .933 save percentage. Her goals-against average was 1.09, the best in program history, and her 20 shutouts in her career are the second-best in program history. 

Sophomore Katy Meehan (Quincy, Mass.) ended the year with a five-game point streak, potting two goals and six assists for eight points (2-6=8) during that span. Despite Monaco's career-high point streak of 10 games (4-11=15) vanishing in Sunday's game, she concluded her sophomore season with a plus-37 on-ice rating, one of the top single-season marks in program history.

Although the first period saw no scoring, there were plenty of chances for each team to take the lead. Nicole Amato had a great opportunity with a point-blank shot early in the first but Scavotto was there to spoil the opportunity.

Kiki Doucette took a shot from the slot and the puck rang off the crossbar going wide of the net after the 13-minute mark. The Hawks had their chances moments later but Emme Ostrander came up with a pair of key stops for the Ravens in goal.

The Hawks finally took the lead just before the four-minute mark in the second period. After forcing a turnover in the offensive zone, Meehan skated down the right side of the ice. She found Conger in the slot, who slipped the puck under the pads of Ostrander to give Saint Anselm a 1-0 lead.

The Hawks had to kill off an interference penalty at the 6:47 mark of the second stanza and the defense came up big, blocking three shots before they got to the net to keep the Ravens off the scoreboard.

Saint Anselm added another goal with 4:56 left in the second period. Meehan took a shot from the slot that was stopped by Ostrander. However, the rebound bounced right toward freshman Erin Meyers (Saint Paul, Minn.), who fired the puck into the open net at the right post to make it 2-0.

Franklin Pierce had the shot advantage in the third period and Scavotto had to make five of her 11 third-period saves in the first six minutes to keep the two-goal advantage for the Hawks.

The Hawks sealed the game with an empty-net tally by Golini with seven seconds left in regulation.

Saint Anselm had a 28-21 advantage in shots in the game, including 7-1 in the second period. Scavotto finished the game with 21 saves for her 13th win of the season and fifth clean sheet of the year. Ostrander stopped 25 shots for the Ravens in defeat. Franklin Pierce concluded its season with a 20-10-1 mark and remains in search of its first-ever victory against Saint Anselm (0-21-1).