Bianchini's Overtime Tally Leads Women's Hockey Past Pilgrims

Bianchini's Overtime Tally Leads Women's Hockey Past Pilgrims

HENNIKER, N.H.—Junior Alli Bianchini (Sterling Heights, Mich.) forced a turnover and scored on a breakaway in the opening 15 seconds of overtime, to help UMass Boston women's hockey complete a comeback victory over host New England College.

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 2, New England College 1 (OT)

(UMass Boston 15-7, New England Hockey Conference 9-5)

(New England College 5-16-1, New England Hockey Conference 3-11-0)

HOW IT HAPPENED

After trailing heading into the final 10 minutes, captain Maren Brown (Brainerd, Minn.) scored a power-play goal to tie it and Bianchini scored in the extra session to clinch a huge conference win.

New England College won the opening draw in overtime and passed the puck back to their blue line. As they attempted a horizontal pass in the neutral zone, Bianchini reached out and poked the puck back into the Pilgrims zone. The junior raced past both defenseman to the puck and then took two strides towards net, before beating Jacqueline Clark through the five-hole. The goal was a short-handed tally, after the Beacons were whistled for roughing at the final horn of regulation.

The win marked the Beacons' second-straight overtime victory and third of the season.

Brown got the Beacons' comeback efforts going with a power-play goal 11:40 into the third. Edy Moritz (Guilford, Conn.) and Arielle Gallucci (Warren, N.J.) picked up assists on the play.

In net, Rachel Myette (Duxbury, Mass.) saved her best for last, as the senior made two of her 21 stops in the final minute of regulation. The Pilgrims had the puck in the Beacons' zone for the final 60 seconds, but Myette was able to hold onto the puck with a group of players crashing the net at the final buzzer.

Clark was the tough-luck loser, after holding the Beacons scoreless through the first 50+ minutes. She ended up making 40 saves on 42 shots, to fall to 2-5-0 on the year.

Vicki Shaw gave the Pilgrims a 1-0 advantage 3:19 into the second period. Rachel Vigliano and Demi Latham each earned assists on the goal.

Despite holding a 14-6 shot advantage through the first 20 minutes, UMass Boston wasn't able to crack Clark and the Pilgrims defense.

New England College picked up their play to start the second period and scored on their third shot of the period. Shaw picked up a rebound off a Vigliano shot and beat Myette glove side for a 1-0 advantage at 3:19.

With less than 30 seconds remaining on their fourth power play of the day, the Beacons finally broke through on the man-advantage. Senior Kat Armstrong (Kingston, Ont.) twice kept the puck in along the left point to keep the tired Pilgrims skaters out there. On the second occassion, she passed the puck across to Gallucci, who fired a pass to the slot. Moritz' initial shot was stopped by Clark, but the puck bounced to the right side of the crease, where Brown was able to sneak it through for a 1-1 tie.

Both teams had great chances down the stretch, but Clark denied Grace Fisher (Vienna, Va.) on a pair of chances from the left circle and Myette kept the buzzing Pilgrims off the board. 

Bianchini's goal sent the Beacons piling off their bench and into a celebratory pile for the second-consecutive game.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • UMass Boston outshot the Pilgrims 42-22, while New England College picked up a 25-23 edge in the face-off dot.
  • The Beacons snapped a 1-for-29 drought on the power play with their third period tally. UMass Boston ended the day 1-for-4 and scored a short-handed goal, while New England College finished 0-for-2.
  • With the win, UMass Boston earned the season-sweep of New England College (both by 2-1 scores) and improved to 15-9-2 all-time against the Pilgrims. The victory marked the Beacons eight-straight in the series.
  • Bianchini's goal marked her second collegiate game-winning goal and both have come in overtime. Last season she scored in overtime of the NEHC Tournament Semifinal game against Castleton University.
  • Bianchini's overtime winner helped UMass Boston improve to 3-0 this year in overtime. The Beacons had never won more than two overtime games in a single-season prior to this year and now have won back-to-back overtime games for the first time. Before this year, UMass Boston had been just 5-14 in overtime games that had finished on a deciding goal.

WHO'S NEXT

UMass Boston will host Plymouth State University on Saturday at 1 p.m., looking to earn their third three-game winning streak of the year.