By David F. Pendrys (Account verified against SHU official box score.)
SHELTON, CT-The Sacred Heart Pioneers and Rhode Island Rams women’s hockey teams took to the ice Friday night in what proved to be a close game for 2 periods, but the lopsided second period would decide things. In goal for SHU would be Nicole Magee in the first and Amanda Fontaine after that. Between the opposite pipes was URI’s Sarah Ross.
Rhode Island took the lead early when Alisha DiFillipo scored 36 seconds into the period assisted by Sydney Collins & Brenna Callahan. The scoring would cease until 14:08 when Monica Darby unassisted put the Rams up by two. Two minutes later at 16:03 Alex Davis got the Pioneers on the board during a power play assisted by Natasha Klinoff and Alanna Woodford. Not long afterward at 17:46 Elizabeth Johnson teed up a shot from the back of the URI zone past Ross to tie it at 2. She was assisted by Casey Stathopoulous and Woodford.
The period would end with the score tied at 2. Rhode Island had managed only 3 shots on goal but scored on 2 of them. SHU’s two goals came on 9 shots. Magee would be replaced by Fontaine going into period 2.
Early in the second, Davis would go into the box on a tripping call at :45 seconds and at 2:29 her teammate Megan Ofner would also go in for the same offense. The Pioneers managed to kill off all of the Davis penalty surviving the brief 5-3, but at 3:49 Rhody’s Janessa Courtney fed Collins from behind the net and she got it by Fontaine to give the Rams the lead.
The URI advantage would be brief though as Ram Michelle Monet went off for two minutes on a cross checking charge at 4:09. Barely into the power play at 4:30 Stathopoulous would score to even it up with an assist from Davis and Klinoff. There would be a calm before the storm as the two teams played about ten minutes of scoreless hockey, but Ofner struck at 13:02 with the setup from Emily Falvey and Briana Connolly for a 4-3 lead. She would score again at 14:52, this time with help from Amie Varano and Stathopoulous, and as her goal was being announced, Klinoff scored, with an assist from Connolly at 15:12.
The scoring ceased briefly, and Varano went into the box for checking at 17:36 but Rhode Island could not capitalize. With less than four seconds on the clock, Falvey scored one with help from Davis for the last goal of the game to cement the 7-3 Sacred Heart lead. Rhode Island had come up with their goal on 10 shots in the period, Sacred Heart had scored their five on 12.
The third period resulted in no penalties nor scoring, though Sacred Heart kept the pressure up with 14 shots. Ross and the URI defense was steadfast in deflecting the Pioneer attempts. Rhode Island put 7 shots onto Fontaine but with no success.
Ofner ended the day with two goals, Davis, Falvey and Klinoff all had a goal and 2 assists. Collins lead URI with a goal and an assist. Rhode Island’s Ross made 28 saves on 35 shots. SHU’s Fontaine made 16 saves on 17 shots, Magee had 1 save on 3.