Women's ice hockey suffers 1-0 loss at Salem State, Burke notches 31 saves

Women's ice hockey suffers 1-0 loss at Salem State, Burke notches 31 saves

SALEM, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team kicked off a semester-ending two-game weekend with a 1-0 loss at Salem State University on Friday evening at Rockett Ice Arena. In the teams' first meeting, the Purple Knights remained winless through nine games, while the Vikings are 2-5.

Senior Abby Burke (Bedford, Mass./The Rivers School) made 31 saves for her 24th career 30-stop outing, as the Purple and Gold took the ice for the first time since Nov. 19. Classmate Carolyn Avery (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) and junior Kaitlyn Wurzer (Lee, N.H./Berwick Academy) both won five faceoffs. First-year Madison Black scored the game's lone goal for Salem State, and sophomore Katherine Crane made 33 stops.

Salem State won the first six faceoffs and fired the opening five shots, but Burke denied them all. Three of the next four attempts were off the sticks of Purple Knights, and the visitors had a trio of power play opportunities in the final 8:18 of the opening period. During the first, which began at 11:42, Avery and senior Kayla Kee (Newton, Mass./Newton South) both had bids denied and, after Saint Michael's was shotless on the second, senior Lauren Cuculino (Glen Mills, Pa./Quakers) and junior Ashley Dineen (Somers, N.Y./Canterbury School) were stopped on the next, which began at 17:34. Burke rejected consecutive shorthanded bids by Salem State in that stretch.

The Purple Knights killed off a penalty that began 4:45 into the second period thanks to Burke's six saves, and she backstopped the visitors to wasting away another woman advantage for the Vikings that started at 7:58. In the latter stages of the period, Salem State broke through, as Black netted the go-ahead marker at 14:38. Saint Michael's players rattled off five shots between the goal and the final horn, with senior Sarah Bagley (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) denied twice by Crane in that time.

Saint Michael's held a 14-4 advantage in third-period shots while trying to draw even, including five different players rattling off consecutive shots without a break in action during the latter portion of the frame, but Crane stopped each one. After a Purple Knight took a penalty with 1:55 to go, senior Erin Dwyer (Weymouth, Mass./Archbishop Williams) won the ensuing draw and had a shot on goal soon thereafter stopped. With Saint Michael's pulling Burke for an extra skater and 1:14 left, Avery had the squad's lone shot on net prior to the final buzzer, being turned away.

The Purple Knights close out their first-semester slate tomorrow at Endicott College at 5 p.m. The Gulls are receiving votes toward this week's U.S. College Hockey Online (USCHO) Division III national poll.