BIDDEFORD, Maine – The Wesleyan University women's ice hockey team started the 2018 portion of its schedule with a dramatic 2-1 win at the University of New England on Tuesday, as sophomore goalie Sam Smith turned away a penalty shot with one second remaining during the third period in Biddeford, Maine.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Scoring first on the road is always important, and Wesleyan (3-4-2, 0-0-2 NESCAC) scored the first two goals against the Nor'easters (4-4-5, 1-2-3 NEHC). All three goals were scored in the opening period.
- The University of New England was awarded a penalty shot, facing a 2-1 deficit with one second left in regulation, immediately following a scrum in front of the net in the final seconds. Junior forward Julianne Sheehan made a move to her right, but Smith cut off the right post and turned the shot aside, preserving a crucial victory for the Cardinals, as they picked up their first road win of the season.
- Junior assistant captain and defensewoman Sarah Goss has showcased consistency in all three zones this season for the Cardinals, and she played a crucial role during the team's first goal. With Wesleyan on the power play, Nor'easters freshman forward Katie Babineau tried to send a puck up the boards and out of the zone, but Goss gathered the puck at the left attacking point. She then sent a pass right in front of the net, and senior captain Alex Horton redirected the feed into the left side of the goal at the 5:24 mark of the first.
- A few minutes later, Wesleyan was back on the advantage and the attack, as freshman forward Sydnee Goyer won a faceoff at the right dot in the offensive zone, and then the puck traveled to the right point onto the stick of junior defensewoman Kendall Carr. Carr slid the puck over to Goss at her sweet spot on the left point, and the Wellesley, Mass. native sent a diagonal pass onto Goyer's stick just outside the crease, as Goyer sniped a shot into the top right corner with 11:46 on the clock. The tally was the first of Goyer's collegiate career and it stood up as the game-winning marker.
- Babineau made an outstanding read for the Nor'easters, alluding a Wesleyan player with a self pass off the boards in her own zone with 30 seconds left, which led to a 2-on-1 break up ice with freshman Kyra Yu. Babineau carried the puck down the left wing, and sent a wrist shot into the top right corner of the cage with 22 seconds on the scoreboard, as the goal was the first of Babineau's college stint.
- Wesleyan nearly extended its lead to 3-1 just over six minutes into the third, as Goss sent a saucer pass from her own zone onto the stick of freshman forward Sophia Marra in the middle of the rink, and then Marra flew down the left wing and sent a driving shot on net, but sophomore goalie Caty Flagg (3-3-4) turned away the attempt.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Smith (2-2-0) turned away 26 shots, including all 10 in the final 20 minutes. Flagg compiled a game-high 36 stops for the hosts, with 19 coming in the final frame.
- The Cardinals went 2-for-5 on the advantage, and killed off the Nor'easters' lone power play. Wesleyan's penalty-killing unit has been exceptional all year, killing off 36-of-39 penalties (92.3 percent).
- The visitors held a 38-27 advantage in shots on goal, as Goss led the way with a two-point outing during Wesleyan's first-ever meeting with the Nor'easters.
- The Cardinals will set their focus on NESCAC action with a two-game series against Colby, starting on Friday at 7 p.m. in Middletown, Conn.