Score: No. 5/5 Elmira College 6, Nazareth College 3
Records: Elmira (8-2-1, 6-0-0 UCHC), Nazareth (10-2-0, 6-2-0 UCHC)
Location: Murray Athletic Center – Pine Valley, N.Y.
PINE VALLEY, N.Y. -- The fifth-ranked Elmira College women's ice hockey team closed the first half of the 2018-19 season with a sweep of a United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) series against Nazareth College, as the Soaring Eagles doubled-up the Golden Flyers, 6-3, on Saturday afternoon at the Murray Athletic Center Ice Arena.
Winners of two in a row, the Soaring Eagles enter an extended holiday break with an 8-2-1 overall record and remained undefeated in UCHC play, improving to 6-0-0 following Saturday's win. The previously unbeaten Golden Flyers fell to 10-2-0 and with a 6-2-0 league record after suffering back-to-back losses against EC.
Precise tic-tac-toe passing set up Elmira's game-opening goal on the power play at the 17:49 mark. Katie Granato '19 began the passing sequence with a dish to Eliza Beaudin '22, who snapped a cross-ice pass to Shannon Strawinski '19 for the one-time finish from just outside the crease. With the period coming to a close, Elmira doubled its lead with 2.3 seconds left on the clock, when freshman Ariella Haas '22 scored her first career goal. After winning a puck battle along the boards, Morgan Mordini '22 poked the puck out to Haas, who fired a shot that deflected off of a Nazareth defender before going bar-down.
Elmira saw its lead balloon to 3-0 at 7:03 in the second stanza, as fourth-year blueliner Kristin Chivers '19 found the top shelf from the point. Mordini set up the scoring play with a pass to Chivers, who then weaved a shot through traffic and beat a screened Adrianna Brehm for her first goal of the season.
The three-goal advantage did not stand long, as the Golden Flyers struck for back-to-back goals at the 7:42 and 10:14 marks in the middle period. Hailey Redders tallied Nazareth's first, and Emily Kromer cashed in on the team's first power-play chance of the evening to cut the Soaring Eagle lead to 3-2 entering the final intermission. Nazareth's goal streak continued with another from Kromer, the nation's top-scoring freshman, just 12 seconds into the third period to tie the game at 3-3. A great deal of pressure from the Golden Flyers set up the scoring play, as Keeley Rose and Redders were credited with assists.
EC's special teams units were crucial down the stretch in the final period, as the Soaring Eagles held the Golden Flyers without a goal on their last two power-play chances. Meanwhile, the Elmira power-play units logged two of the team's three third-period tallies, including the eventual game-winner from Strawinski at the 5:33 mark.
Nineteen seconds after Naz's Kromer was sent to the box for interference, Strawinski found a wide-open net to deposit the game-winning goal, her second power-play tally of the evening. As a pass from Granato reached Beaudin on the goal line to Brehm's left, the Golden Flyer netminder sprawled out in an attempt to smother the puck. With the goalie out of position, Beaudin slid the puck across the mouth of the net to Strawinski on the back side.
Nine minutes later, it would be Beaudin who scored on the power play, this time receiving an assist from Strawinski. From the left faceoff dot, Strawinski rifled a pass across the ice to Beaudin, who was camped along the goal line below the opposite faceoff circle. Despite the tough angle, the rookie forward one-timed the back into the upper left corner of the net, extending Elmira's lead to 5-3.
In favor of an extra attacker, the Golden Flyers pulled Brehm from the ice inside the final minute of regulation. With the net unattended, Devyn Gilman '21 sealed Elmira's triumph with the first goal of her sophomore season, as she broke down the right-wing side of the ice all alone with just 24 ticks left on the clock.
In Their Own Words…
Head Coach Tim Crowley on the importance of securing two additional points in the UCHC standings on Saturday…
"We want to take care of league points at home. We have goals league-wise, and that was a good step towards those goals. I'm excited to get four points on the weekend and play the way that we did. System-wise, we could have been a little better there in bits and pieces."
Coach Crowley on his team's adjustments late in the game to break a 3-all tie in the third period…
"I think we had to have a d-zone first mentality, and once we were able to establish that, I think we kind of settled in. We were a little frantic there for the first couple of minutes. Once we settled down, it makes a world of difference when our defensive core plays better."
Coach Crowley on the efficiency of EC's power play…
"I thought both units looked good today. Obviously, one of the units produced all of our power-play goals. I thought we moved the puck well. We worked on what we worked on throughout the week. Shannon and Eliza were really good on the power play today, as was Katie Granato."
Coach Crowley on heading into the long holiday break having won back-to-back games…
"It's always good to end the first semester with a win, which we did. We certainly will have a challenge once we return, playing Norwich and then either Adrian or Plattsburgh in the second game. It doesn't get any easier for us. But it was good to be home, get two wins at home, and everybody will be able to enjoy the holiday and spend some time with their families."
News and Notes
- Elmira improved to 8-2-1 overall and 6-0-0 in UCHC play.
- The Soaring Eagles are 2-0-0 all-time against Nazareth after sweeping the first-ever series between the two teams.
- Nazareth, which entered the weekend with the nation's leading offense with 7.30 goals per game, was held to just 1.50 goals per game against Elmira.
- EC ended the first half of the season undefeated at home, going 5-0-0 at the Murray Athletic Center.
- Strawinski (2g-1a) and Beaudin (1g-2a) led all scorers with three points apiece, while Mordini (2a), Haas (1g-1a), and Granato (2a) each compiled multiple points for the Soaring Eagles.
- Seven of Strawinski's eight points this season have come in her last four games, including five (3g-2a) in the series vs. Nazareth.
- Beaudin's three points are a single-game season-high.
- Granato has recorded two points in four consecutive games, upping her team-leading total to 22 (14g-8a).
- Haas' goal marked the first of her collegiate career.
- Stephanie Martin '22 won her third consecutive start in goal for the Soaring Eagles, making 18 saves on Saturday against the Golden Flyers.
Following a three-week hiatus during the holidays, the No. 5/5-ranked Soaring Eagles will return to action at the East-West Hockey Classic, hosted by Norwich University, on Sunday and Monday, January 6-7. Elmira opens the tournament against the No. 3/3 Cadets of Norwich in Northfield, Vermont, at 2:00 p.m.