Harrisville, R.I. – The Holy Cross women's ice hockey team defeated Nichols by a score of 7-2 on Friday evening to improve their record to 17-2-2 on the season and 13-2-0 in the ECAC East conference with just three regular season games remaining. The Crusaders overcame a sluggish start in the first period to score four goals in the second and secure the victory. Nichols falls to 6-15-1 overall and 3-11-1 in the ECAC East.
Holy Cross gave up an early goal just 4:34 into the first to Bison freshman Kerri Nadeau and the Crusaders trailed 1-0 for the most of the period. Holy Cross was unable to generate much offense of their own and tied the game 1-1 with just 33 seconds remaining on a power play goal by freshman Nicole Giannino (Bay Shore, N.Y.). It was Giannino's fourth goal of the season and the scoreboard read 1-1 at the first intermission.
The second period was a different story for the Crusaders who netted four goals including the go ahead goal just 44 seconds into the period off the stick of senior captain Stacey Hochkins (New Boston, Mich.) who was playing in her 100th career game in a Holy Cross uniform. Freshman forward Chelsea Monahan (Cherry Hill, N.J.) then scored her third goal and first game-winning goal of her career at the 4:22 mark to increase the Crusader lead to 3-1. Senior forward Nicola Garat (Princeton, N.J.) added a shorthanded goal for her 12th of the season and freshman Francesca Panarelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) added her third to round out the scoring in the second frame and give the Crusaders a commanding 5-1 lead entering the third period.
Head coach Peter Van Buskirk made a goaltending switch to start the final period relieving freshman Alexandra Stevenson (Norwood, N.Y.) in favor of fellow freshman Megan Colpitts (Riverview, New Brunswick) who made her third appearance of the season. Holy Cross did not slow down offensively coming out of the intermission as junior Caroline English (Dorchester, Mass.) tallied her ninth goal of the season at the 19:31 mark. Nichols added a second goal by senior Hannah Tardif at 5:39 and the final Holy Cross goal came on the power play by freshman Jessica Frascotti (Needham, Mass.) at 7:58. Eleven Crusaders recorded points in the 7-2 victory as English, Hochkins, Meaghan Sullivan (Brockton, Mass), Rebecca O'Quinn (Arlington, Mass.), Rebecca Fleming (Newton, Mass.) and Rachel Miller (Jackson, Mich.) recorded assists in the game.
Holy Cross outshot the Bison 40-25 and forced Nichols to use three goalies on the night. Stevenson now has the most appearances of the four goaltenders on the Crusader staff this season and improved to 6-0-1 (5-0-0 ECAC East) on the season, making 13 saves on 14 shots in 40 minutes of action. Colpitts added 10 saves on 11 shots in the final 20 minutes. Bison sophomore goaltender Francesca Palazzo saved 20 of 23 shots in 24:22 of action and fell to 1-9-1 (1-8-1 ECAC East) this season.
The Crusaders return to the Hart Center tomorrow, Feb. 11, for the final home game of the season against Manhattanville at 2:00 p.m.