Women's ice hockey falls in close contest to Salve Regina, 3-2

Women's ice hockey falls in close contest to Salve Regina, 3-2

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team fell to Salve Regina University, 3-2, on Saturday at Cairns Arena in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) contest. With the loss, the Purple Knights fall to 3-17 overall and 3-9-1 in the NEHC while the Seahawks improved to 4-15-1 and 3-9-1.

Senior Erin Dwyer (Weymouth, Mass./Archbishop Williams) led the way for the Purple Knights with two goals, she was assisted by classmate Athena Akiki (Allendale, N.J./New Jersey Rockets) and sophomore Madison Nichols (Gilford, N.H./Tilton School). Senior Carolyn Avery (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) went 12-for-18 on draws while classmate Tori Hubbard (Saint Albans, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans) went 7-for-12. The Purple Knights' three senior goalies split periods, as Erica Ragazzo (Mansfield, Mass./Ursuline Academy) made 13 saves in the first before Abby Burke (Bedford, Mass./The Rivers School) made 12 saves in the second and Tina Frasca (Norwood, Mass./Tabor Academy) made nine saves in the third. Dwyer's two goals pushed her career points total to 52, which gave her a solo hold of seventh in program history.

For the Seahawks, junior Briana D'Avolio scored a goal and added an assist while classmate Erica Bonnette-Lykens dished out two assists. Sophomore Angela Augusta and first-year Amanda Fantasia scored a goal apiece, and sophomore Jennifer O'Connell made 17 saves.

Salve Regina opened the scoring midway through the first, as Bonnete-Lykens fired from the point before Augusta corralled the rebound and slid an ice-level shot into the center of goal at 9:57. Ragazzo stopped the other 13 shots she faced, and the team's headed to the locker rooms at 1-0.

Saint Michael's responded just past the midpoint of the second, as Akiki sent a well-timed pass from the left circle to Dwyer just above the right post and she tallied her first with a redirection inside the right post at 13:20. Dwyer scored her second with just 28 seconds remaining in the period, as she received a pass from Nichols and beat O'Connell with a shot through the five hole. Burke stopped every shot she faced in the period, and the Purple Knights took a 2-1 lead into the third.

The Seahawks knotted the score early in the period, as D'Avolio's shot from the slot found top right portion of goal at 0:24. O'Connell denied three attempts to reestablish the lead by Saint Michael's in a 14:11 span between Salve Regina goals, and Fantasia tallied the game winner from below the left circle with a high and hard slap shot to the top right corner at 14:35. O'Connell stopped four more shots by Saint Michael's as Salve Regina held on to the lead to win the game.

Thirteen Purple Knight seniors were honored before the contest as part of Senior Day: Akiki, Avery, Burke, Dwyer, Frasca, Hubbard, Ragazzo, Sarah Bagley (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle), Lauren Cuculino (Glen Mills, Pa./Quakers), Tori Dinger (Norwell, Mass./Norwell), Kayla Kee (Newton, Mass./Newton South), manager Shandon Kelleher (Littleton, Mass.) and Lauren Sullivan (Wakefield, Mass./Middlesex Islanders).

Up next for the Purple Knights is an NEHC contest on Friday at Plymouth State University at 6 p.m.