Jan. 24, 2009

 

Courtesy of Holy Cross

RYE, N.Y. – Sophomore Jocelyn Kratchmer netted the game-winning goal 1:09 into overtime as the College of the Holy Cross came back from a two-goal deficit to stun Manhattanville College, ranked 10th in the USCHO.com Div. III national poll, by a 3-2 (OT) score in ECAC East Conference women’s hockey action on “Think Pink” night at Playland Ice Casino.

 

Kratchmer’s game-winner came off the rebound of a shot by senior Stephanie Couzin and set off a wild on-ice celebration for the Crusaders, who swept the season series with Manhattanville after losing the first 17 matchups between the two teams prior to this year. Freshman Stacey Hochkins also recorded an assist on the goal, one of her two on the night.

 

The tally capped an impressive performance by the still unbeaten Crusaders, who moved to 16-0-1 on the season with the win. Holy Cross fired 34 shots against senior netminder Karine Turmel (Ste-Marguerite, Quebec), easily a season high for a Manhattanville opponent, and limited the lackluster Valiant offense to only 21 shots on goal.

 

Despite being outshot and outplayed for much of the evening, Manhattanville looked good holding a 2-1 lead and on the power play with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation. The lead disappeared in shocking fashion, however, as Holy Cross capitalized on an uncharacteristic defensive lapse by the Valiants to knot the game at two while shorthanded.

 

Freshman Nicola Garat gained a loose puck in the neutral zone and dumped it on net so that the Crusaders could change lines, but some hard forechecking by sophomore Christina D’Ambrogio forced a miscommunication between Turmel and sophomore Erica Garcia (Highland, Calif.) in front of the Valiant net. D’Ambrogio swooped in to steal away a loose puck that Turmel could not cover up and stuffed it into an empty net to stun the home team and tie the game.

 

The goal, the first shorthanded tally given up by the Valiants this season, came just a few minutes after Manhattanville’s penalty killers had done a great job of killing a 1:24 five-on-three situation midway through the period and seemed to discourage the Valiants while energizing the Crusaders.

 

Manhattanville looked good in the first period, as the Valiants scored twice in 1:44 to take a 2-0 lead. Freshman Brianne Alfred (Kahnawake, Quebec) began the scoring at the 14:00 mark of the first frame, as she collected the rebound of a shot by junior Monique Rafferty (Clifton Park, N.Y.) and easily found the net. The lead increased to two soon after, as sophomore Holly Nonis (Brampton, Ontario) followed up the attempt by sophomore Shannon Coffey (Malden, Mass.) and beat Crusader freshman goaltender Carly Dominick-Sobol.

 

The Valiants looked to head into the first intermission with a two-goal lead before Holy Cross struck back with 1:29 left in the period. With senior co-captain Alex Blackwell (Brewster, N.Y.) in the penalty box for hooking, Couzin notched her ninth of the season off a pass from Hochkins to halve the Crusader deficit after one period of play.

 

The Valiant penalty kill did its job on Friday night, limiting the potent Holy Cross power play to only one goal on eight chances. But the Manhattanville power play, which came into the game with a Div. III-best 31.6 percent success rate, was anemic against the Crusaders, recording only six shots and no goals on seven man-up chances.

 

Dominick-Sobol played well in goal for Holy Cross, turning aside 19-of-21 shots to increase her record to 7-0-0 this year. Turmel kept Manhattanville close by making 31 saves, but the one defensive mistake in the third period proved to be the turning point in the game.

 

Manhattanville (13-2-0, 11-2-0 ECAC East) will look for a return to the win column tomorrow at 3 p.m. as the Valiants take on Nichols College at Playland Ice Casino. Holy Cross (16-0-1, 11-0-1 ECAC East) will look to remain unbeaten against New England College next Friday at 7 p.m.