BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The fourth-seeded Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team potted the tying goal against No. 3 Sacred Heart University midway through the third period on Sunday before yielding the late winner in a 3-2 loss during the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Open Tournament third-place game at the Wonderland of Ice. The Purple Knights finished their season 4-21-1, while the Division I Pioneers are 18-13-2.
Saint Michael's posted its eighth one-goal loss of the winter, while seven of its final eight contests were decided by one goal, and stayed even with the hosts in shots, at 32 apiece. The Purple and Gold also held Sacred Heart, which was 10th in Division I in power-play efficiency, to a 0-for-3 showing with a player advantage.
Senior defender Lisa D'Angelo (Suffield, Conn./Kingswood Oxford) scored her first career goal in her final game, while junior Macey Thomas (Amherst, Mass./Northfield Mount Hermon) turned in the tying marker. Senior Erin Stevens (Watertown, Conn./Connecticut Polar Bears) made 29 saves, becoming the 13th goalie from a Division III conference in NCAA history to reach the 2,500-save plateau, finishing with 2,513. After surpassing her own single-season school record for saves yesterday, she extended the mark to 924 on Sunday.
Following the conclusion of the tournament, senior defender Allison Graf (Long Lake, Minn./Minnesota Thoroughbreds) was named to the six-player all-tournament team.
Sophomores Alex Davis (Pembroke, Mass./Pembroke) and Meaghan Souza (Wilmington, Mass./Pingree School) both recorded a goal and an assist for Sacred Heart, while classmate Cara Curran (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) also scored. First-year Nicole Magee (Burlington, Mass./New Hampton School) had 30 stops.
Down 2-1 into the third period, the Purple Knights killed off an early penalty before Thomas tallied the equalizer with 11:35 remaining. With 14:42 to go, the visitors found themselves on a power play, but each of their four shots on goal with the player edge was denied. Just 42 seconds after the Sacred Heart penalty expired, Davis slipped home her winner, at 17:24. After pulling Stevens with 1:35 to go, Saint Michael's saw senior Melissa Hallisey (Dedham, Mass./Dedham) send a shot on net before winning three face-offs that did not result in shots.
The Purple Knights took seven of the game's first eight shots on goal, including two during an early power play in the first period, and Stevens posted a trio of stops during a Sacred Heart player advantage midway through the stanza. With 3:31 remaining, D'Angelo knocked in the first goal of the contest, converting a touch by junior Mary Liz Pinnella (Manasquan, N.J./New Jersey Lady Patriots).
While looking to extend its lead to two early in the second period, Saint Michael's had a pair of shots denied by Magee, and Curran knotted the contest at 3:10. A teammate hit the post within the next few minutes, as the teams exchanged scoring chances during the middle portion of the period before Souza put the Pioneers on top at 14:45. Sophomore Kristen Spulecki (Orchard Park, N.Y./Buffalo Bison) had a late tying chance hit the post.