MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey team opened a two-game weekend series with a 4-0 loss to Saint Anselm College on Friday afternoon at Sullivan Arena. The Purple Knights are 2-7, while the Hawks, who won last year's New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Open Tournament, are 8-0. The teams play again on Saturday at 1 p.m.
On the strength of junior Nicole Talcott's (Colchester, Vt./Rice Memorial Prep) career-high 52 saves and another 28 blocked shots by skaters, Saint Michael's held Saint Anselm, which led all of NCAA Division I/II ice hockey in scoring (5.4), to more than a goal less than its season average. Talcott's 52 stops were the most by a Purple Knight since Abby Burke '17 had 54 on Feb. 20, 2016, at Salve Regina University, and the most in a contest that didn't extend into overtime since Burke posted another 54 on Nov. 9, 2013, versus Norwich University.
Senior Jillian Witwicki (Danvers, Mass./Pingree School) went 10-for-17 on faceoffs while blocking three shots, and first-year Maddie Gervais (Glastonbury, Conn./East Catholic) was 10-of-18 at the dot. Sophomore Torrie Gray (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) and first-year Courtney Kelly (Arlington, Mass./Boston Jr. Shamrocks) blocked three shots apiece.
Sophomore Kaley Campbell played a hand in every Hawk goal, scoring twice and assisting two others, while senior Kaitlyn Spillane had a goal and two helpers. First-year Katy Meehan tallied the other goal and lent an assist, as the Meehan-Campbell-Spillane line accounted for nine of the team's 12 points. Sophomore defenseman Megan Klaus had two assists, and junior Maddie Scavotto made 11 saves.
Talcott made 18 of her saves in the first period alone, including turning aside six shots during 3:16 worth of Saint Anselm power plays early on. Senior Kaitlyn Wurzer (Lee, N.H./Berwick Academy) and sophomore Arianna Boscia (Cranston, R.I./La Salle Academy) both had shorthanded bids blocked in the opening five minutes, while Witwicki blocked a pair of shots amid the Hawks' second woman advantage, which ended with Campbell potting the winner at 7:31. Another power play began at 11:49, and Talcott registered five stops while being aided by four blocks. Meehan made it 2-0 at 16:57, with Spillane dishing off her second primary assist.
Gervais and senior Amanda Donahoe (Wakefield, Mass./Saint Mary's) both had shots in the final three minutes of the first period denied by Scavotto to keep it a two-goal margin, and Campbell put home her second goal 5:05 into the second frame on another power play. Spillane added to the advantage 4:28 later, but Talcott held Saint Anselm off the board for the final 30:28, stopping all 22 shots on goal.
Saint Michael's earned a 1:29 5-on-3 advantage during the third period, beginning at 15:06, but Boscia, Donahoe and Wurzer all saw Scavotto deny their shutout-ending bids.