GORHAM, Maine -- Senior Erin Banfield (Montpelier, Vt.) and junior Talya Bent (Cranston, R.I.) each scored two goals to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 5-3 victory over the visiting Colby College Mules in a non-conference women's ice hockey game Saturday afternoon at the USM Ice Arena.
The win snapped a three-game losing skid for the Huskies and avenged a 1-0 loss 11 days ago at the hands of the Mules. The Huskies pull into the exam and holiday break at 6-3. The Mules dipped to 3-4-1.
Banfield scored twice in the third period to give the Huskies some breathing room. Bent had a goal in the second period and what proved to be the game-winning goal at 6:31 of the third period. Sophomore Chelsea Boucher (Gilford, N.H.) had the other USM goal and an assist. Junior Julia Pearl (Essex Jct., Vt.) and rookie Lynn Kozlowski (Stoneham, Mass.) each picked up two assists.
Sophomore Megan Fortier (Falmouth, Maine) led the Mules with a pair of power-play goals in the third period. Rookie forward Katie McLaughlin (Glenburn, Maine) had the other Mules' goal. Senior Annie Papadellis (Hopkinton, Mass.) picked up two assists.
After a scoreless first period that featured the strong goaltending of USM sophomore Nia Kelly (Cary, N.C.) and Colby senior Brianne Wheeler (Brussels, Ont.), the Huskies broke on top at 10:56 of the middle stanza when Boucher scored from the top of the right wing circle after a set-up from Pearl and Kozlowski. The goal snapped a scoreless drought for the Huskies that stretched over 179 minutes.
McLaughlin tallied her first collegiate goal just 30 seconds later with a 15-foot shot from the right of Kelly.
Bent regained the edge for the Huskies at 14:04 beating Wheeler from the left-wing circle for her first goal of the season. Boucher and Pearl earned the assists.
Banfield extended the lead to 3-1 at 3:02 of the third period with a 20-foot shot from out in front of Wheeler. Bent's second goal, an unassisted marker at 6:31, came from the right-wing circle.
Fortier pulled the visitors within two with her first extra-skater goal at 9:02 tipping home a feed from Papadellis.
Banfield restored the Huskies' three-goal advantage when she scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season on an unassisted breakaway at 15:41.
The Mules kept up the pressure on Kelly and Fortier again found the net again on the power play at 17:11. Sophomore Maddie Dewhirst (Hanover, N.H.) picked up the lone assist.
Kelly, making her first start for the Huskies, stopped 25 shots to earn her first win. Wheeler finished the game making 30 saves.
Southern Maine is off until January 3-4 when it travels to Hartford, Conn., for a two-game series at Trinity College. Colby returns to action on January 3 with a non-conference game at home against New England College.