Stevens records 45 stops, women's ice hockey falls in ECAC East contest to Saint Anselm

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team opened a two-game home weekend with a 4-0 loss on Friday at Cairns Arena to Saint Anselm College, which entered the evening tied for second in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East standings. The Purple Knights slipped to 1-4 overall and in the league, while the Hawks are now 4-1-1 and 3-1-1.

Senior Erin Stevens (Watertown, Conn./Connecticut Polar Bears) made 45 saves for the hosts, and her 1,769 career stops leave her two short of Annice Mason '06 for second in program history. With 54 more saves, Stevens would match Alysia Goldman '11 for the Saint Michael's career mark of 1,823.

Sophomore Tiffany Herron (Clinton Township, Mich./Chippewa Valley) scored twice for Saint Anselm, senior Kathryn Picarello (West Roxbury, Mass./Southfield School) added a goal and an assist, and classmate Rosemarie Giarrusso (Royal Palm Beach, Fla./North American Hockey Academy) also found the back of the net. Junior Courtney Winters (Swampscott, Mass./Saint Mary's) provided two assists, and classmate Lindsey Brown (Mounds View, Minn./Ohio State) worked the 18-save shutout.

Stevens denied junior Michelle Conway (Medford, Mass./Tabor Academy) with a left pad save 5:30 into the contest, turning away a close-range shot from the slot, before coming up with consecutive saves a few minutes later, including knocking away senior Ciara Petry's (Poolesville, Md./Washington Pride) attempt from the doorstep off of a rebound. Saint Anselm grabbed the lead at 14:29 when Herron took a shot that deflected off of a Purple Knight defender, into the air and ultimately past Stevens, who appeared to not see the puck. Stevens finished with 13 stops in the period.

The Purple Knights had a pair of opportunities to knot the score on a power play early in the second period, but junior Mary Liz Pinnella (Manasquan, N.J./New Jersey Lady Patriots) and first-year Emily Loebs (Acton, Mass./Minuteman Lady Flames) each had attempts stopped by Brown.

The Hawks pushed their lead to three with two tallies 1:06 apart early in the frame. Herron scored on a slapshot from the high slot with one second remaining on a 4-on-4, at 5:11, before Picarello picked up a rebound and found a vacated left side of the net on the power play at 6:17. Giarrusso made it 4-0 at 15:23 on a shot from the blue line.

Saint Michael's first-year Allie Shea (Smithfield, R.I./Mount Saint Charles Academy) twice looked to crack the scoring column during the final minute, sending a pair of shots from the close slot on net, but Brown turned both away with her right leg pad. To begin the third period, sophomore Kristen Spulecki (Orchard Park, N.Y./Buffalo Bison) nicked the post after a little more than 30 seconds of play, and senior Madelena Santore (Millington, N.J./New Jersey Rockets) had a point-blank try stopped less than 10 ticks later. Stevens, who had 15 second-period saves, made 17 more in a shutout third stanza, including sliding to her right to made a point-blank blocker save with 12:35 to go in the game.

The Purple Knights complete their first-semester home slate tomorrow when they take on the University of Massachusetts at Boston at 3 p.m.