Elmira beats Neumann to earn share of first conference title in five seasons
PINE VALLEY, N.Y. -- Elmira gave its six Class of 2014 members the proper send-off in their final regular-season home game as the Soaring Eagles defeated Neumann 4-1. With the victory, EC's record in ECAC West play moves to 15-1-0 clinching a share of the ECAC West regular-season crown for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
Briana Saltstone had her second multi-goal game in as many days as she netted two of EC's four goals and Tanis Lamoureux had two assists on her senior day to bring her career point total to 103. Fellow senior Lisa Marshall made 29 saves between the pipes to secure her 15th victory of the season. The 15 wins ties Marshall for fourth most in a single season in Elmira history while her 31 career wins places her sixth all time.
The game had a very similar start to it as Saturday's contest, as scoring was limited through the first 10-plus minutes of action. The Knights held an early shot advantage as they were getting open looks at Marshall, but the goaltender turned away each shot to keep Neumann scoreless.
The defensive effort paid off as Ella Stewart led the charge to get the Soaring Eagles on the scoreboard with 5:15 remaining in the first period. Stewart carried the puck toward EC's offensive zone and passed it off to Erin Weston. Weston fed the puck along to Lamoureux who sent a quick pass to Ashley Ryan. Ryan fired a shot at the net as she was falling to the ice which flew past the goaltender and into the back of the net, giving Elmira a 1-0 lead.
The Purple and Gold had a few other quality looks at goals in the final five minutes of play, but Neumann goaltender Justina Mayr was able to make some impressive saves to keep the deficit at one. EC's best look at goal No. 2 came after Lamoureux redirected a shot in front of the net. It looked as though the puck would find the empty side of the goal, but Mayr made a last-ditch effort to kick the puck away, denying Lamoureux of her 13th goal of the season. EC would lead Neumann 1-0 at the first intermission.
Briana Saltstone once again got Elmira's scoring started in the second period as she tallied her third goal in two games 8:38 into the period. Lindsay Burrows would send a rising pass across the ice into a group of skaters. The puck deflected off of Saltstone's chest, who was positioned perfectly in front of the goal, and into the back of the net. In addition to Burrows, Saturday's star, Ashton Hogan, picked up an assist on the score.
The assist must not have been enough for Hogan as she would pick up EC's third goal of the afternoon on the Soaring Eagles' fourth power-play opportunity. Hogan, who scored two power-play goals against the Knights on Saturday, would be on the receiving end of a Lamoureux pass that she controlled right in front of the goalie. Hogan finished off the shot through the goalie's five-hole to give Elmira the 3-0 lead.
The Purple and Gold did not let up too much in the third period, despite entering the final stanza with a 3-0 lead as the team put 11 shots on goal. Neumann was even more aggressive offensively in the third period as it put 15 shots on frame as the Knights looked to get at least one goal in the weekend series.
Neumann did just that, scoring its first goal in two games with 6:39 left in regulation. It would be Dru Austin who would net a power-play goal for the Knights with assists coming from Jaclyn King and Casey Kilduff.
EC would fend off any thought of a Neumann comeback when Saltstone netted her second goal of the game for her second consecutive multi-goal effort. Hogan got the play started after carrying the puck into the slot and firing a shot the Neumann's second goaltender of the afternoon, Julia Fair. Fair made the initial save, but the puck jumped up over her shoulder and landed in the crease right in front of the goal line. Fair attempted to lay on the puck to cover it up, but Saltstone came crashing into the play and jarred the puck free, pushing it into the back of the net. The Soaring Eagles would hold their 4-1 lead for the remaining five-plus minutes of action as they closed out the victory.