Saint Anselm Tops Holy Cross, 3-2, In Overtime To Win NEHC Open Championship

SHELTON, Conn. Maura Kieft (Littleton, Colo.) netted the game-winning goal in overtime to lift Saint Anselm College to the 3-2 victory over College of the Holy Cross in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Open Championship. Teammate Maddie Scavotto (East Falmouth, Mass.) earned Most Valuable Player accolades after posting 24 saves in net to secure the victory for the Hawks.

Saint Anselm dominated the first period, outshooting the Crusaders 12-4, but Tessie Salatas (Laval, Que.) stood tall in net to keep the scored tied at zero going into the second frame.

In the second period the Hawks made the most of a power play opportunity as Kaitlyn Spillane (Franklin, Mass.) sent home a Martha Findley (Duxbury, Mass.) pass to give Saint Anselm the 1-0 lead. Holy Cross' Emily Lissner (Woburn, Mass.) answered later in the period as she snuck one past Scavotto from close range to tie the game at one apiece.

The score stood at one thanks to penalty kill efforts on both sides of the ice. Then, with nearly six minutes gone in the third period Victoria Shea (Middleton, Mass.) buried a loose puck in front of the net to give Saint Anselm a 2-1 lead.

With time winding down in regulation Holy Cross pulled Salatas for the extra skater advantage. With less than 15 ticks left on the clock reigning NEHC Player of the Year, Kara Violette (Greene, Maine) beat Scavotto with a wraparound score to send the game to overtime.

The game-winner came at the 10:05 mark in overtime as Findley put a shot on net that was tipped by Sara McNamara (Danbury, Conn.), Kieft skated in to collect the deflection and buried it past Salatas to give the Hawks the title. Scavotto was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after notching 24 saves in the victory.

Sacred Heart University won the consolation match over Franklin Pierce University by way of a shootout. Sacred Heart's Taylor Mooreland (Kenosha, Wisc.) gave Big Red the 4-3 lead eight minutes into the third period. With time winding down it appeared the score would stand but Franklin Pierce pulled their goaltender for the extra skater and it paid off as Meg Gilbride (Braintree, Mass.) tied the game at four with under thirty seconds to play in regulation.

With no goals after five minutes of overtime the game would be decided by a shootout. The Ravens second shooter in Alex Brolsma (Bloomington, Minn.) scored to give Franklin Pierce the advantage but Amie Varano (Duxbury, Mass.) answered for Sacred Heart. Both goaltenders made significant saves to keep their respective team alive, but senior defenseman Teagan Ketchum (Averill Park, N.Y.) beat Shannon O'Neil (Tewksbury, Mass.) to give Sacred Heart the win.

The tournament's coaches selected six players to represent their institutions on the All-Tournament team along with selecting the tournament's Most Valuable Player. The full list of All-Tournament honors can be found below.

2017 NEHC Open All-Tournament Team

Forward: Lanie Matsumoto, Franklin Pierce University
Defense: Teagan Ketchum, Sacred Heart University
Defense: Jackie Guy, Saint Anselm College
Forward: Kaitlyn Spillane, Saint Anselm College
Forward: Elizabeth Scala, College of the Holy Cross
Forward: Kara Violette, College of the Holy Cross

Most Valuable Player: Maddie Scavotto, Saint Anselm College