New England College Upsets Southern Maine 3-1

Junior Julia Pearl scored the Huskies' lone goal in a 3-1 loss at New England College.
Junior Julia Pearl scored the Huskies' lone goal in a 3-1 loss at New England College.

            HENNIKER, N.H. -- Senior goalie Kelly Metz (Liberty Township, Ohio) stopped 53 of 54 shots to give the New England College Pilgrims a 3-1 win over the visiting University of Southern Maine Huskies in ECAC Women's East play Saturday afternoon before a Senior Day crowd at Lee Clement Arena.

            The win snapped the Pilgrims' four-game losing streak, and improved their overall mark to 3-20-0.  The Pilgrims are 3-11 in league play.  The Huskies dropped their second straight game to slip to 10-12-1 overall and 7-7 in the league.  Both teams have two games remaining in the regular season.

            Metz allowed only a first-period power-play goal to junior Julia Pearl (Essex Jct., Vt.) before shutting down the Huskies' offense.  Southern Maine out shot NEC 54-21 in the game, and had 36 shots over the final two periods without denting Metz.

            Pearl scored her sixth goal of the season at 12:47 of the opening period to stake the Huskies to a 1-0 lead.  Senior Erin Banfield (Montpelier, Vt.) and rookie Ally Vanidestine (Bangor, Maine) picked up the assists.  The Huskies out shot the Pilgrims 18-5 in the period, but Pearl's marker would be the only shot to elude Metz.

            The Pilgrims scored twice in the middle period to take the lead.  Junior Marisa Roth (Burlington, Mass.) tied the game at 7:01 with a 5-on-4 power-play goal set up by rookie Mackenzie Meegan (Phoenix, Ariz.).  Ten minutes later, senior Jamie Tabb (Holland, Mass.) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal after passes from juniors Aubrey Fischer (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Ashley Bonner (Ridgefield, Conn.).

            Meegan added an insurance tally at 1:43 of the third period when she scored on the power play.  The Huskies had a pair of power-play opportunities later in the period, but could not beat Metz to cut into the Pilgrims' lead.

            USM sophomore goalie Nia Kelly (Cary, N.C.) finished the game with 18 saves.

            Southern Maine returns home next weekend for its final two regular season games.  USM will host Saint Anselm College on Friday afternoon (4:00 p.m.) and the University of Massachusetts Boston on Saturday (1:00 p.m.) for Senior Day.  New England College hits the road to face-off at nationally ranked Norwich University on Friday (4:00 p.m.) and Saint Michael's College on Saturday (1:00 p.m.).