Southern Maine Blanks New England College 6-0

Sophomore Cassandra Sherman scored two goals Friday evening to help the Huskies down New England College 6-0.
Sophomore Cassandra Sherman scored two goals Friday evening to help the Huskies down New England College 6-0.

Southern Maine Blanks New England College 6-0

            GORHAM, Maine -- Sophomore Cassandra Sherman (North Smithfield, R.I.) and junior Julia Pearl (Essex Junction, Vt.) each scored two goals as the University of Southern Maine women's ice hockey team shut out visiting New England College, 6-0, in ECAC Women's East play Friday at the USM Ice Arena.

            The win was the third straight for the undefeated Huskies (3-0-0).  It is the first time in the 16-year history of the program that the Huskies have opened a season with three consecutive wins.  The winless Pilgrims (0-4-0) dropped their fourth straight game.  The two teams will meet again at NEC on February 8.

            Senior Erin Banfield (Montpelier, Vt.) had a goal and an assist for the Huskies, and sophomore Chelsea Boucher (Gilford, N.H.) had the other goal.

            USM junior goaltender Liz Bergstrom (Chanhassen, Minn.) picked up her second shutout of the season stopping all 13 shots she faced.  Through the first three games, Bergstrom has compiled a 0.33 goals against average and a .981 save percentage.

            Banfield scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 7:51 of the first period when her centering pass deflected off an NEC stick up and over junior goalie Lauren Hopps (Green Bay, Wis.) shoulder.  Banfield has scored in all three of USM's games.

            Sherman made it 2-0 sliding a shot past Hopps left foot from about 15 feet out in front for her first goal of the season at 17:25.  Junior Maggie Lane (Burlington, Mass.) and rookie Lauren Lessard (Lewiston, Maine) picked up the assists.

            After a scoreless second period that saw USM out shoot NEC 13-2, the Huskies would explode for four goals in the final period to put the game away.  Boucher opened the scoring converting a feed from Banfield into a shot from the top of the right-wing circle at 2:38.  Pearl scored the first of her two unassisted goals with a stuff shot from down low at 5:38.  Sherman netted her second goal at 10:45, and Pearl roofed a shot from the left wing circle at 12:45.

            Hopps made 30 saves before being lifted for senior Kelly Metz (Liberty Township, Ohio).  Metz made five saves over the final 9:15.  Southern Maine finished the game out shooting NEC 41-13.

            Southern Maine will host Castleton State College in an ECAC Women's East game on Saturday (1:00 p.m.).  New England College will play in-state rival Plymouth State University on Saturday (2:00 p.m.).