SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team lost to Saint Anselm College, 5-0, on Friday evening in Cairns Arena to open a two-game weekend series. The Purple Knights are now 3-18, while the Hawks improved to 17-2-3. The teams conclude the series tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Junior Nicole Talcott (Colchester, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) had 36 saves to push her season total to 625, passing Tina Frasca '17 for sixth in program history. Senior Jillian Witwicki (Danvers, Mass./Pingree School) was 7-for-16 on faceoffs, and junior Christiana Akiki (Allendale, N.J./New Jersey Rockets) blocked four shots.
Senior Kaitlyn Spillane netted a natural hat trick and added an assist for Saint Anselm, which has the top goals-against average in all of NCAA Division I/II women's ice hockey. First-year Katy Meehan added two goals and an assist, while junior Maddie Scavotto, the national leader in GAA and save percentage, made 12 stops.
After a sequence four minutes into the contest that included Talcott making a save and senior Kaitlyn Wurzer (Lee, N.H./Berwick Academy) blocking the follow-up attempt, first-year Maddie Gervais (Glastonbury, Conn./East Catholic) raced up the right wing on a counterattack but was denied at 4:10. Meehan broke the deadlock just 1:24 later, roofing a shot from the low right circle. Talcott stopped junior Caley Mueller's one-timer from the right circle at the 10:13 mark, and sophomore Alissa Sullivan (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) drilled classmate Arianna Boscia's (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy) pass low in the right circle with 17:10 gone, but Scavotto made the stop to keep it 1-0. Meehan doubled the lead at 18:16, knocking in a rebound at the right post after Spillane sent a tough-angle shot that Talcott had redirected with her stick.
Talcott made a tough blocker save on senior Paige Gorecki's bid from the low slot 4:45 into the second period, and sophomore Torrie Gray (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) countered by sending a slap shot from the middle of the left circle just wide of the right post one minute later. Talcott registered a stop off of her mask 10 seconds after that and a pad save off of a shot from the low slot at 7:15 before Spillane kicked off her natural hat trick at 11:01 during a power play, roofing a shot from the left circle. At 17:06, she made it 4-0 by backhanding home a shot from the low right circle after Meehan followed a shot behind the net and poked the puck out front.
Talcott snapped her glove over her head to stop sophomore Mary Morrison's bid 2:46 into the third period before the Purple Knights countered at the other end, with first-year Lizzie Blanchard (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) springing junior Madison Nichols (Gilford, N.H./Tilton School), who was stopped on a quick break up the right wing while being tripped for a delayed penalty. Boscia had a pair of chances during the ensuing woman advantage, seeing a shot from the right circle blocked before she grabbed the rebound and had a second bid denied lower in the circle. Spillane capped the scoring at 5:20, collecting a loose puck in neutral ice and skating into the Saint Michael's zone with speed before picking the upper right corner. Wurzer nearly broke the shutout at the 14-minute mark during a power play, but Scavotto waffle boarded away her bid from between the circles.