Purple Knights snap skid, forge 2-2 tie at SUNY Potsdam in opener of weekend set

POTSDAM, N.Y. - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-2 tie at the State University of New York at Potsdam in Clarkson University's Cheel Arena on Friday afternoon. The Purple Knights are now 1-7-1 after the non-conference affair, while the Bears are 2-8-1. The teams play again tomorrow at 3 p.m.

Senior Allison Graf (Long Lake, Minn./Minnesota Thoroughbreds) and first-year Caitie Shea (Smithfield, R.I./Mount Saint Charles Academy) both scored, with Shea's marker the first of her career. Senior Erin Stevens (Watertown, Conn./Connecticut Polar Bears) made at least 40 saves for the sixth time this year, finishing with 40 and moving into the top 25 in Division II/III history for career stops (1,932).

Sophomores Izzy Fayerman (Calgary, Alberta/The Edge) and Alexandra Holowka (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Balmoral Hall) both scored for the Bears, and senior Jen Conophy (Glenmont, N.Y./Albany Ice Cats) had 32 saves. Her team held a narrow 42-34 advantage in shots while cashing in on its lone power-play opportunity.

Each team fired off nine shots in the opening period, with one four-shot stretch midway through the stanza resulting in three straight Conophy saves prior to Shea finding the back of the net at 14:05. Junior Olivia Collins (South Boston, Mass./Boston Latin School) and first-year Naomi Major (Telluride, Colo./Telluride Lizard Heads) earned assists, with Major appearing in her first college game.

SUNY Potsdam parlayed a 17-15 shots advantage in the second frame into the tying goal. After Stevens registered two saves during a power play that began just after the midway point of period, Holowka knotted the game at 14:28, exactly two minutes after Saint Michael's was assessed its penalty.

The hosts took 10 of the first 12 shots in the third period, finishing with a 14-9 advantage, but the Purple Knights broke the stalemate when Graf found the back of the net at 2:32 off of junior Macey Thomas' (Amherst, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) assist. In the final six minutes, the Purple Knights had a chance to double their lead but took only one shot on a power play, and Izzerman scored the tying marker at 16:49, just 33 seconds after the player advantage ended.

In the final three seconds of regulation, Holowka rushed in alone on net and made a move out front, but Stevens denied the bid to force overtime. During the last 90 seconds of overtime, Stevens made a sprawling save at the left post before a Bear broke in alone with fewer than 30 ticks remaining but pushed a winning bid high and right of the cage.