WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross women's ice hockey team skated to a 3-1 defeat on Friday evening at the Hart Center to visiting Salve Regina. The Seahawks netted two short-handed goals including the game-winner as time expired in the first period to come away with the victory. The Crusaders open ECAC East conference play 0-1-0 and hold a 1-1-0 record overall while Salve Regina improves to 3-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the league.
The game began with neutral zone action as the first shot did not come until almost three minutes in. Salve Regina broke the scoreless tie with 9:21 remaining as Cheyenne Boyd went streaking down the far side of the ice and passed the puck right in front of the crease where Danielle Phalon burried the back of the open net. With the Seahawks short-handed late in the period, Sarah Markey landed a long pass on the stick of Taylor Shephard at the blue line who beat the Holy Cross defense and Crusader sophomore goaltender Alexandra Stevenson (Norwood, N.Y.) just above the blocker inside the left post to give the Seahawks a 2-0 advantage at the first intermission.
Salve Regina went on the power play once again with 15:07 remaining in the second period and just 55 seconds later Michaela Chiuccariello received a pass from Phalon and scored to make the Seahawk advantage, 3-0. With 7:28 remaining in the frame, a tripping call on Holy Cross led to a penalty shot, but Stevenson stood her ground as the shot by Phalon drifted wide right of the goal. Salve Regina outshot the Crusaders 18-8 in the second stanza.
Holy Cross finally turned up the pressure in the third period, outshooting the Seahawks 14-1. The Crusaders got on the board with 12:03 remaining as senior Rebecca O'Quinn (Arlington, Mass.) sent a pass off the end board behind the Seahawk net that sophomore Rebecca Fleming (Newton, Mass.) gathered just outside the left post and lifted into the top of the goal. The Salve Regina defense spent the final 2:41 with the Crusaders on a six-on-five skating advantage as Stevenson went to the bench during a timeout with 3:42 remaining in the game. A Seahawks penalty with 1:01 remaining made it a two-woman advantage, but the Crusaders could not get the puck past the goal line.
Stevenson made 26 saves but suffered the loss and is now 0-1-0 on the season. Salve Regina netminder Ali Muehlbronner made 32 saves on the night, including 13 in the final period, and improves to 3-0-0. Tonight marks the first victory for Salve Regina in the 25-game series history with Holy Cross dating back to 1999.
The Crusaders will have a quick turn around and face Salve Regina again tomorrow night, Nov. 3, in Newport, R.I. at 7:00 p.m. in the second half of this home-and-home early season series.