BIDDEFORD, Maine - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team fell to the University of New England, 3-1, in a New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) contest at the Harold Alfond Forum. The Purple Knights fell to 4-20 overall and 4-13 in the NEHC with the loss, and the Nor'Easters improved to 10-13-2 and 7-9-1.
Senior Erin Dwyer (Weymouth, Mass./Archbishop Williams) scored the lone goal for the Purple Knights while classmate Abby Burke (Bedford, Mass./The Rivers School) made 39 saves. It was her 25th career 30 save performance. A trio of seniors had strong performances at the faceoff dot, as Athena Akiki (Allendale, N.J./New Jersey Rockets), Carolyn Avery (Lexington, Mass./Lexington), and Tori Hubbard (Saint Albans, Vt./BFA-Saint Albans) went 11-for-20, 9-for-18, and 7-for-11, respectively.
Senior Gabriella Moscato scored twice and classmate Mary Wirth scored once for the Nor'Easters, while senior Gabby Crugnale and junior Kierra Wright and had two assists apiece. Senior Sydney Helmbrecht made 11 saves in the first period before first-year Caty Flagg made 23 saves earned the win in reserve action.
The teams played a scoreless first period, as Burke matched Helmbrecht's 11 stops. The Nor'Easters opened the scoring early in the second, as Wirth sent a slap shot from the left circle that beat Burke through the five-hole at 1:32. Burke stopped the next 12 shots she faced, but Moscato tallied her first with a top shelf shot at 18:14. Moscato scored her second straight scoring on a rebound just 86 ticks later, and the Nor'Easters took a 3-0 lead into the third. The Purple Knights fired 12 shots in the third, and Dwyer tallied on a breakaway at 11:16 to cut in the Nor'Easters lead. Saint Michael's put six shots on goal in the final 8:44, but were unable to beat Flagg.
Up next for the Purple Knights is a first round game away from home in the NEHC Open Tournament, against a team to be determined next Saturday. The winner will advance to the semifinals of the NEHC Open Tournament which will be played Sacred Heart University.