Jan. 24, 2009

Box Score

MIDDLETOWN, RI - Freshman Drew Chernisky (Valley View, Ohio) scored her fourth goal of the season at 9:24 of the third period to lift the Salve Regina University women's ice hockey team to a 2-1 win over University of Massachusetts Boston in ECAC East action Saturday night at St. George's Rink.

Freshman Kathleen Roche (Boston, MA) recorded a goal and an assist for the Seahawks, who improved to 11-5-1 (8-5-0 ECAC) with the win. Sophomore Kristen Smith (Beavercreek, OH) scored for the Beacons, who fell to 8-6-1 (7-4-1 ECAC). The win also propels the Seahawks past the Beacons and into third place in Division A of the ECAC.

With time winding down on the power play midway through the third period, Roche slid a pass to freshman Jen Thiesing (Sandwich, MA) at the point. Thiesing wristed a shot towards the net that was deflected in by Chernisky - the first game-winning goal of her career. The assist was Thiesing's second of the evening and third of the season.

"This is definitely a solid win against a good team. We needed this one," said Salve Regina head coach Michael Cox. "I thought the fan support from our students, faculty and staff was tremendous and very much appreciated. It gave our kids a big lift."

The Beacons took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission despite being outshot 14-6. The Seahawks held them without a shot for the first 12:08 of the period, and minutes later had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:35 following penalties to sophomore Lauren Duran (Woburn, MA) and junior Amanda Cianciulli (Billerica, MA). With 12 seconds remaining in the second penalty, however, Thiesing was hit with a two-minute minor for body checking. Thirty-eight seconds later, Smith scored her ninth goal of the season - a wrister that trickled through Salve Regina freshman goalie Rebecca Simmons' (Averill Park, NY) legs - to give the Beacons a 1-0 lead. Freshman Brittany Usmail (New Hartford, NY) picked up the lone assist on the PP goal, her third of the season.

"Statistically, the first period is their best period, and the third period is their weakest," explained Cox. "We felt that if we were within a goal going into the third period, we had a good chance to win."

The Seahawks tied the game at one midway through the second period on Roche's sixth goal of the season at 9:26. Roche collected a rebound off a shot from sophomore Gabrielle Gardner (Farmington Hills, MI) and chipped the puck past freshman goalie Leah Hallett (Rocky Hill, CT). Simmons made a key save late in the period on a one-timer from sophomore Jazz Webber (Winslow, ME) at the left post to keep the game tied through 40 minutes of play.

The Seahawks outshot the Beacons 20-11 in the third, but they were under pressure until the final horn sounded. UMass Boston pulled Hallett for an extra attacked with under two minutes remaining in regulation, and with one minute remaining in regulation, Gardner was accessed a two-minute minor for interference, giving the Beacons a 6-on-4 advantage. Simmons held the fort for the Seahawks, finishing with 29 saves to move to 6-5-1 on the season. Hallett, meanwhile, stopped 43 shots yet fell to 4-6-0.

The Seahawks return to action on Friday when they travel to Colchester, Vt. for a 7 p.m. contest at St. Michael's, while the Beacons travel to Northfield, VT on January 30 to take on Norwich University at 7:00 p.m.