Women's Ice Hockey Heads into NEWHA Tournament Semifinals

Women's Ice Hockey Heads into NEWHA Tournament Semifinals

COLCHESTER, Vt. - By virtue of a first-round victory on Tuesday evening, the Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team has advanced to the semifinal round of the New England Women's Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) Tournament, as the fourth-seeded Purple Knights are slated to take on No. 1 Saint Anselm College on Saturday at Sullivan Arena in Manchester, N.H., at 4 p.m. All tickets for the weekend are $5, while children younger than 12 will be admitted for free. Passes for both Saturday games will also be available for $5 apiece.

The Purple and Gold earned a 5-1 triumph over No. 5 Post University in Tuesday's first round, with junior defender Alissa Sullivan (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) turning in her first career goal to go along with three assists. Senior Nicole Talcott (Colchester, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep), who was named NEWHA All-Conference the next day, made 31 saves in her team's first postseason opening-round victory since 2016.

Saint Michael's has met Saint Anselm eight times in the postseason, including on six occasions during the semifinal round of a tournament. The Purple Knights seek their first postseason tournament crown. The Hawks won all four regular-season meetings this year and lead NCAA Division I/II in scoring offense (4.5), scoring margin (+3.0) and combined special teams (55.7%) while standing second in scoring defense (1.5). Saint Anselm, last year's tournament runner-up, is 30-2-4 in league play during the NEWHA's two seasons of existence.

The Purple Knights carry a 7-16-1 record into the semifinals, while Saint Anselm is 23-3-1. Saturday's other semifinal is between No. 2 Sacred Heart University, the defending champion, and No. 3 Franklin Pierce University. Sunday's championship game is set for 4 p.m. at Sullivan Arena.

Junior Jordan Monbouquette (Wayland, Mass./Lawrence Academy) leads the team in goals (9) and is second in points (13), sophomore Maddie Gervais (Glastonbury, Conn./East Catholic) paces the squad in assists (10) and points (14). Junior defender Arianna Boscia (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy) notched six goals and seven assists while blocking 30 shots, and sophomore Courtney Kelly (Arlington, Mass./Boston Jr. Shamrocks) has three goals and nine helpers from her spot on defense with 26 blocks.

Sophomore Krista Ferrari (Dunstable, Mass./East Coast Wizards) turned in five goals and four assists with a team-high 217 faceoff wins and 31 blocks, senior Madison Nichols (Gilford, N.H./Tilton School) had seven goals, including three on the power play, while first-year Jenna Harrison (Kitchener, Ontario/Wellesley) has handed out nine assists while winning 48.1 percent of her draws and blocking 29 shots. Sophomore Emily Lanci's (Canton, Mass./Lawrence Academy) 33 blocks lead the team, and she has added five points.

Talcott has a 2.83 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage in 11 games, all starts, averaging 31.5 saves, while junior Vika Simons (Essex Junction, Vt./Minnesota Duluth Club) turns in a 3.68 GAA and a .912 save percentage. She has appeared in 13 games, with 12 starts, averaging 35.0 saves during her first season of NCAA ice hockey. Simons was named to the NEWHA All-Rookie Team.