St. Lawrence University junior Rylee Smith had two goals and an assist and sophomore goalie Carmen MacDonald turned in a 27-save performance, leading the Saints' women's hockey team to an impressive 6-0 victory over nationally-ranked Northeastern on Thursday night at Appleton Arena.
The win is the first for St. Lawrence (11-7-1) against a nationally-ranked opponent in 2012-13, while Northeastern (10-6-2) was shut out for the first time this season.
"Well that was a great start to the second half," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells, whose team improves to 3-0-1 against Hockey East. "We had some super efforts in key areas. It was a good thing we had a cushion going into the third period as Northeastern really came at us."
Though the two teams exchanged chances throughout the first period, the Saints scored twice in a span of 2:24 for a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. Ellie Williams' first goal of the year opened the scoring at 14:44, as she pounced on a rebound in front of Northeastern goalie Chloe Desjardins off a bid by Jackie Wand. Smith would then create a turnover in the neutral zone to earn a breakaway, scoring on Desjardins with a slick move for her seventh of the year.
St. Lawrence would own the majority of scoring chances in the second period thanks in part to several quality power play tries. Though they failed to convert with the extra skater, Kayla Raniwsky's fifth goal of the year came at 15:02 for a 3-0 advantage. Rookies Jenna Marks and Kailee Heidersbach set up the lone goal of the period.
Though Northeastern came after MacDonald early in the third, with quality chances for bot Kendall Coyne and Rachel Llanes, the Saints' netminder made several solid stops while the defense did an excellent job of keeping the puck away from danger.
Smith would tack on her second goal of the game at 7:50 of the third for a 4-0 lead. Senior Brooke Fernandez launched a slap shot that Desjardins stopped, but the rebound squirted free to Smith for the easy finish.
Senior captain Kelly Sabatine, who also assisted on Smith's second goal, made it 5-0 at 13:50 with her 10th goal of the season, assisted by both Smith and Fernandez. Sophomore Jessica Hon would cap the game's scoring in the final minute, tacking on the sixth goal at 19:21. Classmate Jessa McAuliffe had the lone assist.
MacDonald earned the shut out with 12 saves in the third period, while Desjardins also finished with 27 saves for the Huskies. St. Lawrence was 0-for-4 on the power play, while Northeastern finished 0-for-2.
St. Lawrence will look to carry momentum into Friday as the team hosts nationally-ranked No. 5 Boston College in a rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. The puck will drop on the Saints and Eagles at 3:00pm.