MANCHESTER, NH,- The Sacred Heart University women's hockey team won the inagugural NEWHA Championship game 3-1 over number one seed Saint Anselm on Sunday afternoon at Sullivan Arena.
Third-seeded Sacred Heart (27-6-2) led 2-0 after two periods on goals by Taylor Moreland and Lexi Edwards, but top-seeded Saint Anselm (21-4-4) halved its deficit near the midway point of the third on a Kaley Campbell goal. With the Hawks pushing for a tying goal, Olivia Bryant tossed the puck the length of the ice into an empty net with 1:24 left to seal the win for the Pioneers.
Following the game Sarah Erban, Taylor Moreland, Jayne Lewis and Olivia Bryant were named to the All-Tournament team, along with Saint Anselm's Haley Marshall and Ashley Moran. Erban was named the Most Outstanding Player after allowing just two goals on 60 shots faced over two games, including 32 in the championship game.
It was an entertaining first period which saw SHU outshoot Saint Anselm 15-4, while Saint Anselm totalled four penalties. Senior forward Taylor Moreland took advantage of SHU's second power play to open the scoring at the 5:58 mark and give the Pioneer's the lead, assisted by Jayne Lewis and Olivia Bryant. Moreland's 30th goal of the season leads the NEWHA in points and is sixth overall in the nation.
The Pioneer's extended their lead at the 14:53 mark in the second period through Lexi Edwards, assisted by Maddie Bishop. It was the Freshman's seventh goal of the season, to give the Pioneer's a 2-0 lead going into the third period.
Saint Anselm rallied in the third period outshooting SHU 17-4 and responded at the 8:27 mrk of the third period. Samantha Boyer fired a shot that was knocked down in front and Kaley Campbell was on hand to bring the Hawks to within one goal.
With Saint Anselm's net empty for a 6-on-4 situation, Moreland won a defensive-zone faceoff for the Pioneers back to Bryant, who threw the puck the length of the ice into a vacated net to seal the victory for Sacred Heart.
The 27 victories is a program record for the Pioneers.