Women’s ice hockey off to 4-1 start, plays Castleton on Nov. 18

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Women’s ice hockey off to 4-1 start, plays Castleton on Nov. 18

Saint A's awaiting the announcement of the starting lineups versus Franklin Pierce.

Saint A's awaiting the announcement of the starting lineups versus Franklin Pierce.

Crier\Tim Mannila

Saint A's awaiting the announcement of the starting lineups versus Franklin Pierce.

Crier\Tim Mannila

Crier\Tim Mannila

Saint A's awaiting the announcement of the starting lineups versus Franklin Pierce.

Glenn Krzeminski, Sports Editor

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The Saint Anselm women’s ice hockey team improved to 4-1 to start the 2016 season after beating Sacred Heart University most recently on Saturday, Nov. 12. Prior to that game the Lady Hawks fell to Norwich, but defeated Nichols.

The women achieved a school record for goals in a 14-0 victory in the contest against Nichols at Thomas F. Sullivan Arena Nov. 5. Eleven different players scored for Saint A’s with just about everyone getting in on the act in the one-sided affair.

The Hawks recorded 60 shots on goal versus just 4 shots on net for the Bison. The game got out of hand pretty quickly as Saint A’s had seven first period goals.  The women would add on seven more goals in the final two periods combined shutting out Nichols in the process.

Senior Martha Findley thinks although the team has looked strong so far, they can improve. She says, “I feel like our team can focus more on our communication, that’s one of the big pieces our coach preaches, because skill itself can win games, but if you are working together and communicating with each other it can win you even more games.”

In the team’s next game it was a much different test as the women took their talents on the road up to Norwich University to take on the Cadets in a Friday night battle of unbeatens in New England Hockey Conference play on Nov. 11. Norwich came into the contest as the number seven team in all of Division 3 hockey. With both teams a part of the NEHC, these points were crucial in the standings even though it’s still very early in the season.

For the game itself which took place Nov. 11, Norwich got out to an early advantage with two opening period goals.  Kaitlyn Spillane would respond with a pair of her own goals, both on the power play in the second frame to knot the contest up at 2 apiece late in the period. The Cadets would answer five minutes late with just 42 seconds left to grab the momentum heading into the final period with a 3-2 lead.

Women's ice hockey in their opener on Oct. 28 in a contest against Franklin Pierce.

Crier\Tim Mannila
Women’s ice hockey in their opener on Oct. 28 in a contest against Franklin Pierce.

The number seven team in DIII women’s hockey added two more goals in the third putting the game away, winning 5-2 at Kreitzberg Arena.

Saint A’s played Sacred Heart University the next day Nov. 12 back in the friendly confines of Sullivan Arena. Senior defenseman Marta Findley got the attack going for the Hawks finding the back of the net on a tip-in a rapid 2:45 into the game. But, less than 30 seconds later the Pioneers found twine too to even up the score at 1-1.

No scoring took place again until midway through the second period when sophomore Sara McNamara scored an unassisted goal on an individual skill play where she evaded multiple defenders in the process. This gave the Hawks an advantage to start the third period.

Saint A’s would put the nail in the coffin as senior Alison Butler picked up her third goal of the season so far on a saucer pass from junior Kaitlyn Spillane at 4:49 of the third period.

The Hawks would add an empty-netter with six seconds left in the game to win by a final score of 4-1 over Sacred Heart. Senior Alex Starzyk had three assists in the contest. This improved the team’s record to 4 wins and 1 loss overall and 3-1 in conference play.

Findley told the Crier regarding this year’s team, “I have total faith in or team to make it to the (NEHC) championship. We are just as strong as last year if not even stronger. I feel we have a lot more confidence in each other this year.  We will get to the same point.”

The women next play the Spartans of Castleton University in Rutland, VT at 4 p.m. on Nov. 18.

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