Huskies Move on to the NEHC Playoffs Next Saturday
GORHAM, Maine -- Junior Kaitlyn Spillane (Franklin, Mass.) scored two goals and passed off an assist as the visiting Saint Anselm College Hawks clinched the New England Hockey Conference regular-season title by defeating the University of Southern Maine Huskies 6-0 Saturday afternoon at the USM Ice Arena.
The Hawks closed the regular season with a 12-game unbeaten streak (11-0-1), and improved their record to 20-2-3 overall and 15-1-1 in NEHC play. The Hawks edged out Norwich University by one point, 31-30, in the final standings for the regular season crown. The Huskies finished the regular season 6-18-1 overall and 4-12-1 in conference play.
Saint Anselm exploded for three goals in the opening 6:28 and never looked back. Sophomore Sara McNamara (Danbury, Conn.) redirected a shot from senior Martha Findley (Duxbury, Mass.) past USM rookie goaltender Whitney Padgett (Eden Prairie, Minn.) for a 1-0 lead 21 seconds into the game. Sophomore Maura Kieft (Littleton, Colo.) netted a power-play goal, assisted by McNamara and Spillane, at 3:02 to double the Hawks' advantage. Spillane's first goal at 6:28 made it 3-0 and forced USM to call timeout.
The Huskies made a goaltender change after the timeout and junior Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.) settled things down a bit stopping 9 of 10 shots over the final 13:32. Rookie Kaley Campbell (Colchester, Vt.) beat Davis at 18:03 to give the visitors a comfortable 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Davis played brilliantly over the final two periods making 23 saves in the middle period, and 14 more in the third as Saint Anselm rolled up a 57-7 edge in shots on goal. Davis finished with 46 saves in 53-plus minutes. Padgett made five saves before being lifted.
Spillane scored her second goal of the game at 11:48 of the second period, and junior Jackie Guy (St. Louis, Mo.) potted the final marker at 16:38 of the third period.
The Hawks' line of McNamara, Kieft and Spillane combined for four goals and three assists on the day. Sophomore goalie Maddie Scavotto (East Falmouth, Mass.) picked up the shutout stopping all seven USM shots.
Southern Maine will advance to the quarterfinals of the NEHC playoffs next Saturday. The Huskies seeding and opponent will be determined after all games have been played tonight. Saint Anselm will move on to the NEHC Open tournament next weekend at Sacred Heart University as the top seed.