PAWTUCKET, R.I. – The Sacred Heart women's ice hockey team exploded for four goals in the final 9:37 of the game in a 6-1 triumph over Johnson & Wales on Friday evening. Taylor Moreland scored twice in the win, which evens the Pioneers record at 10-10-2.
Moreland opened the scoring midway through the first period as Casey Stathopoulos found the sophomore right in front of net for a lead 10:34 into the game. The two leading scorers on the team, it was Stathopoulos' 12th assist for her team-leading 23rd point of the season. Moreland trails only Stathopoulos with her two goals giving her nine on the year.
Even with SHU outshooting Johnson & Wales 19-2 in the first and 17-5 in the second, it was the Wildcats striking next to tie the game with 7:25 to go in the middle period. Heather Daley put the Pioneers back on top before the second intermission though, beating the buzzer as there were just two seconds showing on the scoreboard. Haley Payne's shot from the left side ricocheted right to Daley on the right, and she beat J&W goalie Kami Weiner top right for her third goal of the season. Amie Varano also assisted on the play.
Again dominating the possession in the third with its largest advantage in shots of the game, 24-4, it took SHU over ten minutes to finally get some insurance. This time it was Daley helping set up Payne along with Hanna Skelley, whose shot from the right-hand side rebounded out in front to the freshman, who shoved it past Weiner for her second goal in as many games.
It took just 27 second for Sacred Heart to triple its lead thanks to Elizabeth scoring her first career collegiate goal. The sophomore stole a pass and skated in to beat Weiner top right with 9:10 remaining. Katie Stueve and Moreland added late shorthanded goals to complete the scoring, the latter of which was assisted by Teagan Ketchum.
The final shot total ended 60-11 in Sacred Heart's favor, as the Pioneers outshot Johnson & Wales by at least 12 in each period. When called upon, Amanda Fonatine made ten saves in net to earn the win. Weiner was forced to make 54. There were only four power play opportunities on the night with no goals. SHU went 0-3.
Sacred Heart looks for the weekend sweep tomorrow afternoon with an early 12:05 start.