SHELTON – The Sacred Heart University women's ice hockey team continued the momentum of playing in its new arena on Saturday afternoon as the Pioneer offense scored six goals to power past SUNY Canton, 6-3, at the Sports Center of Connecticut. Cassandra Hanlon, Natasha Klinoff, and Casey Stathopoulos each recorded three points as SHU scored two goals in each period.
The eventual game-winning goal came with six minutes remaining in the second period. Working on the power play, Klinoff found Hanlon at the top of the zone. The freshman fired a shot through traffic that beat SUNY goalkeeper Rebecca DiNardo for her career collegiate goal. Klinoff now has a team-leading four assists on the year.
Sacred Heart looked to be on its way to another win early as they opened the game with two goals in the first period, but the Kangaroos fought their way back to equalize the game with just under thirteen minutes remaining in the second period. Grace Lyon got SUNY on the board after she collected a rebound from a Lindsey Hall breakaway. Nicole Magee did well to save the initial effort, but she could not deny Lyon as the deficit was cut to 2-1. Four minutes later the Kangaroo comeback was complete when Abbey Diabo got the puck at the top of the zone on a SUNY power play and fired it past McGee.
Teagan Ketchum regained the lead for the Pioneers midway through the second frame as she was able to deflect a Hanlon shot from the top of the zone into the net to make the score 3-2. It was Ketchum's first career goal. Hanlon then followed with her eventual game-winner four minutes later to give SHU another two-goal lead.
The Kangaroos were able to cut the deficit one last time with less than one minute remaining before the second intermission. Margret Toriano knocked in a rebound with 51 seconds left to bring the score to 4-3 after two periods.
The third period went scoreless for the nearly seventeen minutes, including an important power 5 on 3 penalty kill by the Pioneers, before Klinoff netted to give SHU a two-goal cushion. Sacred Heart then put the game away with a goal thirty four seconds later as Alanna Woodford found her way down the ice before dishing a pass across net to Stathopoulos, who sent it past DiNardo for the 6-3 lead.
Both of Sacred Heart's first period goals came by way of the power play, as the Pioneers went 3-6 for the game on the man advantage. Woodford opened the scoring six and a half minutes into the game with an unassisted effort. With just under seven minutes remaining before the first intermission, SHU made it 2-0 on a Stathopoulos score. The two are now tied for the team-lead with three goals this season.
Special teams played a large role in the game as Canton also had six power play opportunities for the game. The Kangaroos were only able to convert on one compared to the three power play scores by the Pioneers. SHU also held the edge in shots, 37-22, including 14-5 edge in the first period. Magee earned her first win of the year as she recorded 12 saves in the first two periods, while DiNardo stopped 31 shots in the loss. Amanda Fontaine relieved Magee at the start of the third and would go on to make seven saves.
The Pioneers will be back on the road for a game at in-state foe Yale next Friday. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 pm.