Nov. 6, 2010


Courtesy of Niagara Athletics

Freshman Kristen Richards scored the biggest goal of her young career, netting the overtime game-winning goal to propel the Niagara women's hockey team (2-7-1, 0-0-0 CHA) to a 4-3 non-conference win over No. 4 Mercyhurst (7-2-0, 1-0-0 CHA) on Saturday afternoon at Dwyer Arena.

With the game tied at three in overtime, Melissa Lacroix was whistled for tripping halfway through the extra session. Richards found the puck on her stick 40 seconds later, shooting the puck into the high corner over the stick side of Mercyhurst goalie Hillary Pattenden.

The Purple Eagles are now 2-0-0 in their last two meetings against the Lakers, including Niagara's 2-1 triumph over the then-No. 1 Lakers on Jan. 30, 2010.

"This was a total team effort today," head Niagara women's hockey coach Chris MacKenzie said. "We got what we deserved today. We worked hard for this victory."

Niagara quickly found themselves behind, when Mercyhurst struck on the power-play. Just 2:18 into the contest, Bailey Bram tipped home a centering feed from Cassea Schols over the right shoulder of Niagara goalie Jenni Bauer for the 1-0 lead. The Purple Eagles would respond by scoring twice in a span of 1:26 to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, with Daniela Dal Colle's third goal of the season and Jessica Hitchcock's first career tally.

After the Lakers tied the game just 42 seconds into the second period on a goal by Jesse Scanzano, the Purple Eagles would regain the lead on a powerplay tally from Kathleen Bortuzzo. The lead would not last however, as Mercyhurst would tie the game at three with 3:59 left in the period, when Melissa Lacroix beat Bauer.

Niagara is back in action on Friday, Nov. 12 when the Purple Eagles visit Colgate at 7 pm.