WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman forward Rebecca Fleming (Newton, Mass.) netted a hat trick as the Holy Cross women's hockey team defeated Salve Regina, 6-2, on Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center in ECAC East action. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 10-1-2 overall (7-1-0 ECAC East), while the Seahawks fall to 6-5-2 overall (3-4-1 ECAC East). The Crusaders remain unbeaten against Salve Regina, as the Crusaders move to 23-0-1 against the Seahawks all-time. This is the second time this season the Crusaders found themselves out in front of the Seahawks as they beat them earlier in the year 3-0.
In the first period, the Crusaders got on the board first, at the 5:54 mark when senior captain Stacey Hochkins (New Boston, Mich.) found the back of the net for her 14th goal of the season, assisted by freshman forward Nicole Giannino (Bay Shore, N.Y.) and junior forward Caroline English (Dorchester, Mass.). Hochkins was all alone right in front of the goal and placed a backhander right over the goalie Rebecca Simmons. Hochkins coming into this game was ranked 12th in the nation with 21 points, this goal pushes her point total to 22 on the season (14 goals, eight assists). Freshman goalie Alexandra Stevenson (Norwood, N.Y.) made five saves in the period and Simmons made five for Salve Regina.
In the second period, the Seahawks were able to tie the game up at the 3:17 mark when Natalia Madryga was able to sneak the puck past Stevenson after a battle in front of the crease. The Crusaders quickly answered at the 4:51 mark when Fleming was able to find the back of the net, assisted by junior forward Rebecca O'Quinn (Arlington, Mass.). Holy Cross took a two goal advantage at the 11:32 mark when Simmons was unable to control the rebound on the first shot and senior forward Nicola Garat (Princeton, N.J.) was able to put the puck past Simmons on a second chance opportunity. Heading into the second intermission the Crusaders only found themselves leading by one goal after Sarah Markey blasted a slap shot right over Stevenson's glove from just inside the left faceoff circle making it a 3-2 Crusader lead. The Crusaders outshot the Seahawks by a 12-8 margin in the period.
In the third period, the Crusaders took control of the action scoring three unanswered goals. At the 7:19 mark, Fleming scored her second goal of the game, assisted by sophomore defensemen Emily Sullivan (Arlington, Mass.) and freshman forward Mary Klimasewiski (Cochester, Conn.), increasing the Crusader lead to two, 4-2. With the Crusaders continuing to control the flow of the game, they took advantage of a power play and were able to increase their lead to three after Klimasewiski made a nice pass to freshman forward Rachel Miller (Jackson, Mich.) who tipped it in through Simmons' legs. Fleming scored her third goal of the game at the 11:20 mark pushing the Crusader lead to four. Holy Cross was able to maintain that lead and win by four, 6-2.
The Crusaders went 1-7 on the man-advantage as the Seahawks went 0-4. Stevenson recorded 20 saves, and improves to 4-0-1 on the season, while Simmons posted 22 saves, and is now 4-4-2. Holy Cross outshot Salve Regina, 29-22.
The Crusaders return to action on Friday, Jan. 20 when they travel to meet ECAC East opponent Castleton State at 7:00 p.m.