February 28, 2010

Hawks Fall to Crusaders, Take Second at ECAC Open

WORCESTER, MASS. - The Saint Anselm women's ice hockey team took on the College of the Holy Cross Crusaders this evening in the ECAC Open Championship game. The Crusaders, who defeated the Hawks for the first time in history on January 30, 2010, looked to defend their 2009 ECAC Open title, while the Hawks aimed to capture their fourth ECAC Open Championship victory. 

In a defensive duel, Holy Cross came out on top, 3-1 to win their second consecutive ECAC Open Tournament.  They are only the second team to win more than one tournament following Saint Anselm, who won the first two tournaments and has three total titles.  The win lifts Holy Cross to a final record of 20-4-2 (15-2-2 ECAC East), while the Hawks end the season at 15-11-1 (12-6-1 ECAC East).

The Crusaders opened the scoring just 7:16 into the first period, when Colleen Krmpotich sent a slap shot towards the net from the right side, which was tipped in by Jocelyn Kratchmer for the first goal of the game.

The Crusaders held onto their 1-0 lead until 7:14 in the second, when Molly Corl (Danvers, Mass.) sent a perfect crossing pass to Maria Dougherty (Middletown, R.I.) at the net, who banked it in and tied the game at one.  However, just two and a half minutes later, Stacey Hochkins, the tournament MVP, netted a breakaway goal in a 4-on-4 situation to regain the Crusaders' lead.

The Crusaders held onto a 2-1 lead through the next period and a half, but at 18:56 in the third, a Holy Cross boarding penalty gave the Hawks a power-play opportunity.  The Hawks pulled all-Tournament goaltender Amy Zappen (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and sent in an extra attacker to give the Hawks a 6-on-4 advantage heading into the final minute of regulation. Nevertheless, at 19:40, with just 20 seconds remaining in the game, Stacey Hochkins won the puck at the blue line and carried it to the Hawks' side of the ice, netting an empty-net goal and securing the Crusaders a 3-1 victory and the ECAC Open title.

Hawk goaltender Amy Zappen made 19 saves in the game, finishing of the season at 9-8-1, and her Crusader counterpart Monique Gallant turned aside 20 shots, earning the win. 

After the game, Zappen and teammate Sarah Ellins (Greeley, Colo.) were both named to the ECAC Open All-Tournament team, along with Lisa Wilson and Jocelyn Kratchmer of the Crusaders, Desiree Biron of the Purple Knights, and Lauren Fontaine of the Pioneers.  Crusader Stacey Hochkins took home MVP after scoring two key goals in today's game.