Pioneers Take on Holy Cross in ECAC Open Semi-Final

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Sacred Heart University women's ice hockey team wraps up the 2010-'11 season at the ECAC Open Tournament, hosted by St. Michael's, this weekend.  The Pioneers enter the weekend as the third seed, sporting an 8-19-0 record, and take on Holy Cross (16-9-0) in the semi-finals, Saturday at 1:00 pm.

At 4:00 pm, the host Purple Knights (5-18-2) take on the top seeded Saint Anselm Hawks (19-6-0) in the second semi-final.  On Sunday, a consolation game will be played at 1:00 pm, followed by the championship game at 4:00 pm.

Sacred Heart is seeking its first ECAC title since winning in 2006.  Last season, the Pioneers fell in the semis to Saint Anselm, 7-6 in overtime, before taking down St. Michael's in a shootout in the consolation game.  Holy Cross is the two-time defending champion.

This season, the Pioneers posted a 2-3 record against the field, including one-goal wins over Holy Cross and St. Michael's.

Senior captain Lauren Fontaine (Windsor, Ont.) leads the team in scoring with 17 points on six goals and 11 assists.  Sophomore Megan Murphy (Holden, Mass.) is the team's top goal scorer at eight, followed by junior Tara Kent (Glenview, Ill.) with seven.  Junior captain Nicole Palazzo (Rocky Hill, Conn.) is tied with Fontaine for the team lead in assists at 11.

Between the pipes, freshman Alexius Schutt (Elk River, Minn.) has provided a 4.42 goals agaisnt average and .890 save percentage throughout her rookie campaign.  She ranks fifth in the nation with 871 saves.

All four games can also be seen live over the Internet, by logging onto http://www.fasthockey.com/login.php.