MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Spurrier-Snyder Rink has been kind to the Wesleyan University women's ice hockey team this season.
On Tuesday evening, the Cardinals outlasted non-conference foe Salve Regina, 1-0, to improve to 2-0 at home this year, as the squad has outscored its two opponents, 6-2, in Middletown, Conn.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Junior forward Katherine Flaherty picked the perfect time to knock in her first collegiate goal, as she established position in front of the net, and then sophomore forward Alexis Banquer sent over a pass from the right side. Flaherty, who hails from Dorado, Puerto Rico, then received the pass in traffic, and netted the game-winning goal. Sophomore defensewoman Caroline Seibold picked up her first assist of the season and the third of her career on the tally.
- Sophomore goalie Allegra Grant (1-1-0), who posted 40 saves in a 3-1 season-opening loss to Manhattanville, was active and sharp in net, earning her fifth collegiate shutout with 21 saves. The Winnetka, Ill. native made an outstanding stop on a short-handed, breakaway opportunity by Seahawks junior captain and forward Taylor Chisholm at the 4:39 mark of the second.
- Chisholm was all over the ice for Salve Regina, winning 15 of 25 faceoffs, as she leads the team with three goals this season.
- The Cardinals (2-1-0) and Seahawks (1-8-0) have met in some exciting games over the last couple seasons, as tonight marked the third consecutive contest between the two programs that has been decided by one goal. Last November, senior captain and forward Alex Horton was the heroine with the game winner in a 4-3 triumph for Wesleyan, and during the 2015-16 season, the Seahawks defeated the Cardinals, 4-3, in overtime.
- Wesleyan is led by two outstanding leaders in 10th-year head coach Jodi McKenna and first-year assistant coach Keira Goin, and it showed at the end of regulation. The Cardinals refused to allow the Seahawks a smooth transition up the ice, as the visitors were trying to pull their goalie for an extra attacker. The squad has also excelled this winter in terms of blocking shots and getting in passing lanes within the defensive zone, which has made it difficult for opposing teams to set up a consistent offense. Junior Sarah Goss and freshman Maggie Curran were exceptional in all these facets against the Seahawks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Wesleyan held a 50-35 edge in total shots, including a 32-21 lead in shots on goal. The hosts came out flying with a 16-6 advantage in shots on net during the opening 20 minutes.
- Junior forward Gina Mangiafridda, who leads the team with two goals, posted a team-high five shots on goal for the Cardinals, while junior defensewoman Jackie Kilar contributed with four. Sophomore defensewoman Amanda Fantasia reeled off a game-high six shots on target for the visitors.
- Freshman forward Sydnee Goyer was excellent in the faceoff dot for Wesleyan, winning nine of 12. Seahawks junior goalie Jennifer O'Connell (1-8-0) was tagged with the loss depite making a game-high 31 saves.
- The Cardinals will return to action on Saturday against UMass-Boston at 1 p.m. during the 11th annual Codfish Bowl Invitational in Boston, Mass.