USM, Sacred Heart Skate to 3-3 OT Tie

Senior Erin Banfield scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season in the Huskies' 3-3 overtime tie with Sacred Heart on Tuesday.
Senior Erin Banfield scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season in the Huskies' 3-3 overtime tie with Sacred Heart on Tuesday.

            GORHAM, Maine -- Junior Melissa Robbins (Nashua, N.H.) scored a power-play goal with 1:22 remaining in regulation time to give the visiting Sacred Heart University Pioneers a 3-3 overtime tie with the University of Southern Maine Huskies in non-conference women's ice hockey action Tuesday afternoon at the USM Ice Arena.

            The tie leaves Southern Maine with a 6-5-1 overall record while SHU, a Division One independent, is now 4-7-5.

            Trailing 2-1 entering the third period, Sacred Heart tied the game at 2:29 when junior Natasha Klinoff (Concord, Mass.) scored her first collegiate goal from in close with a nifty move to the forehand.  Senior Jennie Robinson (Hyde Park, N.Y.) picked up the lone assist.

            Senior Erin Banfield (Montpelier, Vt.) restored the Huskies' lead at 6:30 when she collected a Pioneer turnover in the right wing circle and beat senior goalie Alexius Schutt (Elk River, Minn.) for her team-leading seventh goal of the season.

            The lead held up until the final two minutes as SHU went on the power play with 1:49 remaining.  With Schutt on the bench in favor of the extra attacker, Robbins got the puck from junior Casey Stathopoulos (Waltham, Mass.) in the right wing circle and put a wrist shot through a screen past USM junior goaltender Liz Bergstrom (Chanhassen, Minn.) for the game-tying goal.

            USM had the edge in the five-minute overtime period, outshooting SHU 4-0.  Schutt held the Huskies at bay to preserve the tie.

            The teams traded goals in the first period.  Stathopoulos netted a power-play goal at 12:26 to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead.  Robbins and senior Catie Ladner (Chaska, Minn.) had the assists.  Junior Cassandra Sherman (North Smithfield, R.I.) potted the equalizer at 15:00 when the Huskies enjoyed a 5-on-3 advantage.  Rookies Ally Vanidestine (Bangor, Maine) and Katie Couture (Harrisville, R.I.) picked up the assists.

            Rookie Lynn Kozlowski (Stoneham, Mass.) gave USM a 2-1 lead at 8:05 of the second period when her attempt from a bad angle found its way past Schutt for her first collegiate marker.  Classmate Shauna Williams (Bowdoinham, Maine) had the lone assist.

            Southern Maine finished the game with a 40-19 advantage in shots on goal.  Schutt registered 37 saves for the Pioneers while Bergstrom stopped 16 shots at the other end.  SHU took advantage of the power play converting 2 of 3 chances.

            The two teams will play the second half of their two-game series Wednesday afternoon (3:00 p.m.). 

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