Purple Knights rally late, open season with 3-2 loss at New England College
HENNIKER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team scored twice in the third period while trying to overcome a two-goal deficit but fell, 3-2, to New England College on Friday at Lee Clement Arena. The Purple Knights were playing their season opener with the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East contest, while the Pilgrims improved to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the league.
For the Purple Knights, sophomore Olivia Collins (South Boston, Mass./Boston Latin School) and freshman Ellia Héroux (Thunder Bay, Ontario/Thunder Bay Queens) netted their first collegiate goals. Freshman Kristen Spulecki (Orchard Park, N.Y./Buffalo Bison) tallied two assists and went 14-of-18 in the face-off dot, while junior goaltender Erin Stevens (Watertown, Conn./Connecticut Polar Bears) made 34 stops, including 17 in the third period.
Junior Samantha Hippern (Dover, N.H./Saint Thomas Aquinas) scored twice and sophomore Kristin Dehm (Milford, Conn./Connecticut Polar Bears) added a tally for the Pilgrims. Senior Tereysa White (Belgrade, Maine/Brewster Academy) made 25 saves.
The Pilgrims broke on the board early, with Dehm netting the first goal 8:15 into the first period. During a power-play opportunity early in the second period, the Purple Knights sent three straight shots at the net, with White stopping two and the third hitting the post. The Pilgrims took a 2-0 lead 9:32 into the second period when Hippern scored on a power play.
Collins converted on a power play 1:25 into the third period, with Spulecki and senior Madelena Santore (Millington, N.J./New Jersey Rockets) assisting. Hippern answered at 6:07, but a goal by Héroux at 14:01 off passes from Spulecki and freshman Maire Bartkus (Acton, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) made it 3-2. In the final minutes of regulation, Saint Michael's killed a New England College power play before earning one of their own and playing with a 6-on-4 advantage for the last 1:11 after pulling Stevens, but the visitors were unable to get off a tying attempt.
The Purple Knights continue on the road to face Castleton State College tomorrow for a 7 p.m. start.