SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team finished its 13th annual Trader Duke's Ice Hockey Classic with a 4-1 loss to Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon at Cairns Arena. The Purple Knights fell to 2-12 while the Panthers improved to 3-6-3. During the game prior to this one, Hamilton College beat the University of Southern Maine, 6-1, and won the tournament.
Senior Jillian Witwicki (Danvers, Mass./Pingree School) collected a goal for the Purple Knights and was named to the All-Tournament Team with classmate Katherine O'Brien (East Sandwich, Mass./Tilton School) and first-year Courtney Kelly (Arlington, Mass./Boston Jr. Shamrocks) pitching in the assists. Junior Christiana Akiki (Allendale N.J./New Jersey Rockets) blocked five shots while Witwicki, senior Kaitlyn Wurzer (Lee, N.H./Berwick Academy), and sophomore Arianna Boscia (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy) stopped three. Wurzer also went 9-for-16 from the dot as junior Nicole Talcott (Colchester, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) denied 37 shots, three shy of her career high.
Sophomores Eleanor Hudson and Kailey Jacobs paved the way for the Panthers with a goal and an assist each as classmates Alexis Fagan and Sydney Linnick added a goal apiece. Senior Shannon Hickey went 7-for-8 on faceoffs. During her first game of the season, senior Mariah Trupp had 23 saves.
After receiving a pass from sophomore Alie Louie during the first period, Jacobs skated down the left boards and shot a wrister to beat Talcott high at 6:36. About a minute later, first-year Krista Ferrari (Dunstable, Mass./East Coast Wizards) had a chance during a two-on-one situation with Trupp denying the try. Linnick hit a slapshot at 9:45 from the top of the right circle that sailed through traffic and hit a Purple Knight player, causing the puck to deflect past Talcott to give the Panthers the 2-0 advantage. Plymouth State struck again at 16:31 when Hudson capitalized after the puck had squirted out from a battle out front to hit a back-hander to the back right of the net.
Saint Michael's shut down Plymouth State's first powerplay that began at 3:02 of the second stanza and again at 5:38 as no shots got past Talcott. Fagan stripped the puck from the Purple Knights in the neutral zone before passing her defender, skating into the Saint Michael's zone and sailing one past Talcott at 9:34 from the right faceoff dot. Junior Madison Nichols (Gilford, N.H./Tilton School) made an attempt at 10:15 from the slot that hit a Panther and redirected across the goal mouth, just missing the right post.
Boscia and senior Ashley Dineen (Somers, N.Y./Canterbury School) held a two-on-one opportunity in the third period with Boscia giving Dineen a quick little right-handed pass to have Dineen hit a one-timer point-blank at Trupp, who repudiated the try. During a power-play opportunity at 18:26, Witwicki tallied her second goal of the season by taking a shot from the low right circle to have the puck hit bar down.
The Purple Knights host Sacred Heart University on Friday at 7:05 p.m. to begin a two-game weekend series.
13th Annual Trader Duke's Ice Hockey Classic
Most Valuable Player
Michaela Giuttari, Hamilton
Michaela Giuttari, Hamilton
Caroline Knop, Hamilton
Eleanor Hudson, Plymouth State
Mackenzie Kennedy, Plymouth State
Julia Ormsby, Southern Maine
Jillian Witwicki, Saint Michael's