WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman forward Nicole Giannino (Bay Shore, N.Y.) scored her first career collegiate goal which was the game-winner in overtime, as the Holy Cross women's hockey team defeated New England College, 4-3 in overtime, on Saturday afternoon at Lee Clement Arena in ECAC East action. With the win, the Crusaders improve to 12-1-2 overall (9-1-0 ECAC East), while the Pilgrims fall to 5-9-2 overall (3-5-2 ECAC East). This win marks the Crusaders third consecutive win.
Just 1:43 into the first period the Crusaders were able to take the 1-0 lead when junior forward Rebecca O'Quinn (Arlington, Mass.) fired a slap shot past Lauren Hopps, notching her third goal of the season. Freshman forward Rachel Miller (Jackson, Mich.) and sophomore defensemen Chelsea Caracciolo (Garden City, N.Y.) assisted on the early goal. With just 29 seconds remaining Kate Kellar was able to score the equalizer to make it a 1-1 game heading into the first intermission. Freshman goalie Krista Manzanares (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) made six saves in the period and Hopps made 11 for New England College.
The Crusaders were able to score the only goal in the second period at the 15:11 mark when senior forward Nicola Garat (Princeton, N.J.) found the back of the net for the 10th time this season which gave Holy Cross the 2-1 lead. Freshman forward Rebecca Fleming (Newton, Mass.) and sophomore defensemen Amanda Gallagher (Park Ridge, Ill.) recorded the assists. The Crusaders were outshot by the Pilgrims by a 10-3 margin in the period.
At the 4:38 mark of the third period, the Crusaders were able to increase its lead to two, when freshman forward Mary Klimasewiski (Cochester, Conn.) scored a power play goal. Late in the third period New England College battled hard and found its second goal of the game at the 16:47 mark when Chelsea Torrico scored a power play goal. With just 1:03 seconds remaining in regulation, the Pilgrims pulled its goalie to have an extra attacker on the ice, and were able to capitalize as Avery Kauffmann put the puck past Manzanares to tie the game up at 3-3 and force overtime.
In overtime, Giannino was able to get the puck past Hopps at the 3:55 mark, to notch Holy Cross' first overtime win this season. Junior forward Caroline English (Dorchester, Mass.) and senior forward Stacey Hochkins (New Boston, Mich.) recorded the assists on the game-winner.
The Crusaders went 1-6 on the man-advantage as the Pilgrims went 2-8. Manzanares recorded 19 saves, and improves to 4-0-1 on the season, while Hopps posted 24 saves, and is now 1-1-0. Holy Cross outshot New England College, 28-22.
The Crusaders return to action Friday, Jan. 27 when they return home to host Plymouth State at 7:00 p.m.