Purple Knights stay even with No. 9 Manhattanville into second period of defeat

STAMFORD, Conn. - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team forced a 2-2 tie midway through the second period at nationally-ranked Manhattanville College before the Valiants scored three straight to secure a 5-2 victory in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East action at Terry Conners Rink on Saturday. After the defeat, the Purple Knights drop to 1-14-1 overall and 1-11 in the conference, while Manhattanville, which is ranked ninth nationally by U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) and D3hockey.com, improves to 10-6-1 and 8-1-1.

Senior Melissa Hallisey (Dedham, Mass./Dedham) and sophomore Fernanda Saavedra (Miami, Fla./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) each netted second-period goals for the Purple Knights, while senior Erin Stevens (Watertown, Conn./Connecticut Polar Bears) made 29 saves.

Senior Sonia Occhionero (Montreal, Quebec/Kent School) scored a pair for Manhattanville, while classmates Katie Little (Victoria, British Columbia/Team British Columbia) and Erin Sidjak (Delta, British Columbia/Pacific Steelers) each tallied a goal and an assist. Senior Jessica Kehoe (Kemptville, Ontario/Nepean Wildcats) also finished with a goal, and classmate Lynsey Schill (Waterloo, Ontario/Kitchener Rangers) and sophomore Rachael Morrison (Ridgefield, Conn./Sound Shore Warriors) both had a pair of assists. First-year Victoria Smishek (Regina, Saskatchewan/Notre Dame Hounds) stopped 15 shots.

Kehoe scored on the power play 5:53 into the opening period to give the Valiants a 1-0 lead before Little tallied with 4:09 remaining in the period to put the hosts up 2-0 after the first. Hallisey and Saavedra found the back of the net 1:05 apart in the second frame, scoring at 7:18 and 8:23, respectively, to knot the game at two. Occhionero put the Valiants back on top with a marker that came with 5:41 left in the second period. Occionero scored her second of the contest on the power play to give Manhattanville a 4-2 advantage with 7:36 to play in the third period before Sidjak added the game's final tally with 4:55 remaining.

The Purple Knights return to action on Friday when they head to Castleton State College for a 6 p.m. contest.