(With contributions from Saint Michael's Sports Information)
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Rookie Rylie Binette (Milan, N.H.) scored her first collegiate goal to snap a 2-2 tie in the third period as the University of Southern Maine women's ice hockey team opened the New Year by defeating Saint Michael's College 3-2 in the opening round of the 13th Annual Trader Duke's Ice Hockey Classic at Cairns Arena Friday night.
The win snapped the Huskies' three-game losing skid and improved their overall record to 4-9-0. The Purple Knights, who opened the 2017-18 season by sweeping a two-game series against Post University, dropped their 11th straight game to slide to 2-11-0.
Binette, who earned her first collegiate point earlier on the game setting up a goal by junior Julia Ormsby (Barre, Vt.), was credited with the game-winning goal when her effort to tuck in the rebound of a shot from junior Jensen Hamblett (Colchester, Vt.) was knocked into the net by a Saint Michael's defender for a power-play marker at 6:32. Ormsby and Hamblett picked up the assists.
Saint Michael's had two power plays that extended over nearly four minutes midway into the period, but were unable to tallied an equalizer. The home side lifted junior goalie Nicole Talcott (Colchester, Vt.) with 1:14 remaining, but only managed just one shot on goal.
After a scoreless first period, USM took a 1-0 lead at 4:30 of the second when sophomore Jill Hannigan (Portland, Maine) netted her second goal of the season firing a shot from right-wing circle into the top of the net. Senior Emilee Burris (Brookfield, N.S.) and sophomore Grace Simmons (Buffalo, N.Y.) picked up the assists.
The lead was short-lived as the Purple Knights went on the power play and converted at 5:22. USM junior goaltender Britney Evangelista (North Smithfield, R.I.) stopped a shot from sophomore Arianna Boscia (Cranston, R.I.), but the rebound went to rookie Krista Ferrari (Dunstable, Mass.) who buried it into the net for her first collegiate goal.
Ormsby regained the lead for the Huskies at 7:47 tipping home a pass from Binette for her team-leading fourth goal. The Purple Knights tied the score late in the period as sophomore Jordan Monbouquette (Wayland, Mass.) fired home a rebound for her first goal of the season.
Evangelista earned her first win of the season making 33 saves. Talcott stopped 25 shots before heading to the bench for the extra skater.
Southern Maine will take on Hamilton College tomorrow afternoon (1:00 p.m.) in the final day of the tournament. Saint Michael's takes on Plymouth State University in the tournament finale (4:00 p.m.) following the USM-Hamilton game. In the other opening round game, Hamilton and Plymouth State skated to a 1-1 overtime tie.