WORCESTER, Mass. – Sophomore Nicole Giannino (Bay Shore, N.Y.) scored her fourth and fifth goals of the season to lift the Holy Cross women's ice hockey team over visiting Connecticut College on Tuesday evening at the Hart Center, 2-0. Holy Cross sophomore goaltender Alexandra Stevenson (Norwood, N.Y.) fought off seven Camels' power play opportunities and made 22 saves in the game for her first shut out of the season. With the victory, the Crusaders improve to 7-3-1 overall while the Camels fall to 2-3-1.
After a scoreless first period, the Crusaders got on the board with just over eight minutes remaining in the second frame. Sophomore Rebecca Fleming (Newton, Mass.) charged the net from the right side and Camels' goaltender Amy Leichliter made the initial stop. Giannino gathered the rebound and swiped the puck into the back of the net to make the score 1-0. A Connecticut turnover at its defensive blue line with 38 seconds left in the period resulted in Giannino finding the puck on her stick once again. She charged on a breakaway for an unassisted goal as Holy Cross took a 2-0 advantage into the second intermission.
Connecticut turned up the offensive pressure in the third period, outshooting the Crusaders 7-3 with three power play opportunities. Stevenson kept the Camels off the scoreboard with two spectacular saves in the stanza. The first came on the second Connecticut power play off a blocked shot by freshman Victoria Pucci. Junior Olivia Farrell corralled the loose puck and fired from close range. Stevenson made the adjustment and kept the puck from crossing the goal line. Minutes later, the puck bounced off the end boards right to senior Sam Schoeneberger who lined up a shot from just inside the circle. Stevenson once again stood her ground to keep the shut out intact.
The Camels skated with a six-on-four advantage after pulling Leichliter before the start of their final power play with 4:19 remaining. The team then skated six-on-five for 1:24 before a Connecticut penalty forced the net minder back to the crease.
Stevenson moves to 3-1-1 on the season while Leichliter, who made 15 saves in the game, is now 1-2-1. Connecticut outshot Holy Cross by a tally of 22-17 in the contest but went 0-7 on the power play. The Crusaders were 0-1 with an extra skater.
Holy Cross will return to action on Friday, Dec. 7, for a 7:00 p.m. contest at Bowdoin.