SHU Comeback Falls Short in Season-Opening Loss at Holy Cross
WORCESTER, Mass. – Two third period goals were not enough to overcome a 4-1 deficit, as the Sacred Heart women's ice hockey team fell 5-3 in its season-opener at Holy Cross on Friday night. Casey Stathopoulos led the Pioneers with two points on a power play goal and assist, with Hannah Skelley and Heather Daley also adding man-advantage goals. Seven of the eight goals in the game were scored during power play situations, with the teams going a combined 4-13 in addition to three short handed scores.
Trailing 4-1 entering the third, Daley attempted to spark a late rally after Carly Radovich set her up for SHU's second power play goal just 3:03 out of the intermission. The Pioneers had yet another man opportunity just 57 seconds later, as well as a 5 on 3 for nearly two minutes moments after that, but Holy Cross goaltender Alex Burns made three saves in the stretch to halt the momentum momentarily. She would not be able to keep Stathopoulos out of the net later on in the period though, with Taylor Moreland assisting on the score that brought Sacred Heart within one with just 4:07 remaining.
Following a save by Amanda Fontaine kept the score at 4-3, SHU had one last power play opportunity to even the score. After calling a timeout, the Pioneers pulled the goalie to set up a 6 on 4 situation with 2:15 on the clock. They could only manage one shot though, with Amie Varano having her attempt blocked, before Holy Cross iced the game with an empty net goal with just :45 seconds let. It was the third short handed goal for the Crusaders on the evening.
Holy Cross picked up right where they left off early in the second with yet another short handed goal. The Crusaders were assessed a penalty for a protocol violation before the period started giving the Pioneers an opportunity to even the score, but it was HC turning the tide with Boardman netting her second of the evening. After killing off the rest of that SHU power play and another minutes later, Holy Cross went on the man advantage with just over ten minutes remaining in the second. Fontaine made one save but could not stop the second, as the Crusaders went ahead 4-1 thanks to its fourth special teams goal of the night.
HC held a 37-20 edge in shots on the evening, forcing Fontaine to make 32 shots in the losing effort. The Crusaders were whistled for ten penalties to Sacred Heart's 3.
The two teams will take the ice for the second half of a home and home tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 pm at the Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton. The Pioneers will wear special pink jerseys for Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
- Holy Cross had the first eight shots on net of the game
- Sacred Heart's first shot of the season came halfway into the period as Megan Finlay forced Barnes to make her first stop
- Fontaine made three saves in the final minute of the period to preserve the 2-1 score going into the first intermission.
- SHU had one shot on its first power play after the Holy Cross goal and three more on its second power play opportunity of the period
- Fontaine made four saves between the end of the first Pioneer power play and the beginning of the second.
- Teagan Ketchum had an attempt saved in the final minute
- Fontaine made two saves in between Sacred Heart's goal and second power play.
- She then made three saves in a 27 second stretch, the last coming with 11:20 on the clock.
- Stathopoulos and Katie Stueve had back-to-back shots denied midway through the period