#7 Southern Maine Falls to #2 Manhattanville 6-2 in NEHC Quarterfinal

#7 Southern Maine Falls to #2 Manhattanville 6-2 in NEHC Quarterfinal

New England Hockey Conference Playoffs
#7 Southern Maine Falls to #2 Manhattanville 6-2

            RYE, N.Y. -- The second-seeded Manhattanville College Valiants scored three goals in a span of 2:04 in the second period to overcome a 2-1 deficit en route to a 6-2 victory over the seventh-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies in a quarterfinal round game of the 2017 New England Hockey Conference Championship Tournament (NEHC) played Saturday afternoon at the Playland Ice Casino.

            The win propels the Valiants, now 16-8-2 on the season, into next weekend's semifinals against the third-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston Beacons.  Top-seeded Norwich University will take on fifth-seeded University of New England in the other semifinal.  The Huskies conclude their 2016-17 season 6-19-1 overall.

            Rookie Zoey Pellowitz (Arlington, Va.) led the Valiants offensively scoring a career-high four points on two goals and two assists.  Junior Melissa Stys (Pequannock, N.J.) had a goal and an assist while juniors Karly Kapur (Sparta, N.J.) and Sarah Sinning (Southold, N.Y.) dished out two assists apiece.  Sophomore goaltender Rose Pijaca (Worcester, Mass.) made 21 saves.

            Senior Katie Couture (Harrisville, R.I.) and sophomore Jensen Hamblett (Colchester, Vt.) each had a goal and an assist for the Huskies.  Junior goalie Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.) stopped 30 shots.

            The Valiants grabbed an early 1-0 lead when sophomore Nicole Mensi (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) scored her 17th goal of the season at 2:50 of the first period from Kapur and rookie Janet Xu (Edmonton, Alberta).

            Midway through the period, Couture tied the game at 10:58 with her team-leading 10th goal after an assist from Hamblett.  With 24 seconds remaining in the period, Hamblett scored a power-play goal, assisted by Couture and sophomore Alex Mitchell (Wrentham, Mass.), to give the upset-minded Huskies a 2-1 lead after a period.

            Manhattanville exploded in the second period scoring four times, three within a span of 2:04, to take command.  Stys tied the game at 5:32 with a power-play marker set up by Pellowitz and senior Taryn Harris (Morrison, Colo.).  A minute later, junior Maeve O'Brien (Chicago, Ill.) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal.  Pellowitz scored the first of her two goals in the period at 7:36, assisted by Kapur and Sinning, to give the home side a 4-2 lead.  Pellowitz scored her second goal at 12:42 converting a feed from Sinning.

            Junior Kristi Peters (Newport Beach, Calif.) scored the only goal of the final period, set up by Pellowitz and Stys.

            The Valiants outshot the Huskies 36-23 in the game and converted on 3 of 6 power-play opportunities.  The Huskies were 1 for 3 with the extra skater.

            The game marked the final appearance in a USM uniform for three seniors: Couture and forwards Olivia Barragree (Red Lodge, Mont.) and Ally Vanidestine (Bangor, Maine).