SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team finished its regular season with its third straight win, as it topped nationally-regarded Manhattanville College, 2-1, in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) East action on Saturday's Senior Day at Cairns Arena. The Purple Knights improve to 4-19-1 overall and 3-15 in the conference after the victory, while the Valiants, who are receiving votes in both the U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) and D3hockey.com national polls, drop to 16-8-1 and 14-3-1. Manhattanville came into the contest having topped No. 3 Norwich University, 3-2, on Friday night.
First-year Emily Loebs (Acton, Mass./Minuteman Lady Flames) tallied her first goal of the season while adding an assist for Saint Michael's, and senior Allison Graf (Long Lake, Minn./Minnesota Thoroughbreds) also scored. Senior Erin Stevens (Watertown, Conn./Connecticut Polar Bears) turned away 42 shots to reach 2,454 for her career, moving her into 13th place among goaltenders who have played in a Division III league. The victory marked the first time the Purple Knights have beaten Manhattanville since the teams began playing in the 2001-02 season.
Senior Katie Little (Victoria, British Columbia/Team British Columbia) scored for the Valiants, while sophomore Kirsten Shaughnessy (Le Center, Minn./LeSueur-Henderson Saint Peter) made 11 saves.
Loebs gave the Purple Knights a 1-0 advantage on the power play when she buried a rebound following a shot by sophomore Fernanda Saavedra (Miami, Fla./Pittsburgh Penguins Elite) 7:52 into the opening period. Little knotted the game at 1-1 with a goal that came with 6:51 remaining in the frame. Stevens made 19 stops in the period, holding the visitors scoreless in the remaining 6:50, including on the visitors' 5-on-3 power play opportunity that began with 1:17 left in the stanza.
Saint Michael's killed off another 5-on-3 situation that last seven seconds within the first five minutes of the second period. Graf connected for her team's second power play goal of the contest on a shot from the point 5:00 into the third frame to give the hosts a 2-1 lead. Stevens and the Purple Knight defense didn't allow an equalizer in the game's final 15 minutes, including during the last 1:17 when Manhattanville pulled its goalie for an extra attacker.
Saint Michael's celebrated Senior Day on Saturday, honoring Graf, Stevens, Melissa Coughlin (Franklin, Mass./Franklin), Lisa D'Angelo (Suffield, Conn./Kingswood Oxford), Melissa Hallisey (Dedham, Mass./Dedham), Laura Levin (Hingham, Mass./Hingham), Madelena Santore (Millington, N.J./New Jersey Rockets) and Darah Thomas (Amherst, Mass./UMass Boston) in a ceremony before the game.
Saint Michael's returns to the ice next Saturday and Sunday when it competes in the ECAC Open Tournament at Sacred Heart University. The Purple Knights' opponent on Saturday has yet to be determined.