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Women’s Ice Hockey Sweep Holy Cross to Clinch Home Playoff Game

The final weekend set for the Black Bears women’s ice hockey team kicked off on Friday, Feb. 23, as they took on College of the Holy Cross. The pivotal end of the regular season matchup was set to determine the location of next week’s Hockey East playoffs. The contest began with both teams feeling each other out, as neither side was looking to make a mistake. 

The Black Bears committed the first mistake of the game with an interference penalty eight minutes into the first period. The Crusaders capitalized on the opportunity when second-year forward Charlotte Sonntag scored the game’s first goal past fourth-year goalie Jorden Mattison. It didn’t take long for the Black Bears to respond, as just six minutes later, first-year forward Sam Morrison brought the game back to even on a power play goal assisted by third-year forward Mira Seregely and fourth-year defenseman Elise Morphy. The two teams remained 1-1 heading to the intermission.

The second period had a very similar story to the first. Six minutes in, Holy Cross second-year forward Lane Lewis and fourth-year forward Bryn Saarela assisted on a goal scored by second-year forward Alexia Moreau, giving the Crusaders a 2-1 lead. The Black Bears would have to kill off three penalties in the second period to keep the game at 2-1. Third-year forward for the Black Bears, Alyssa Wruble, took matters into her own hands, scoring an unassisted goal to bring the game back to even with just over a minute remaining in the second period. Neither team showed any real threat of scoring in the third period, with both teams staying penalty-free, sending the game into overtime. 

The Black Bears were looking to go home quickly, as it only took 36 seconds for Sam Morrison to score her second goal of the game to cap off a 3-2 overtime win, giving the Black Bears momentum heading into the rematch the following night.

Less than 24 hours later, the two teams met on Saturday afternoon. Both teams showed signs of early fatigue, with puck possession being a struggle for both sides. Just as the previous night, the Crusaders jumped out in front. Third-year forward Madison Michals put Holy Cross in the lead 11 minutes into the first period on assists from Lane and Moreau. With the momentum shifting in favor of the Crusaders, it was just three minutes later when first-year forward Emily Crovo fed sophomore defenseman Taylor Cantelon and added to the lead, making it 2-0. Unfortunately for Holy Cross, their fun was over. Ninety seconds later, fifth-year forward Ida Kuoppala cut the lead in half, flicking a wrister by fourth-year Crusader goalie Madison Beck. After an unpredictable first period, the Black Bears entered the intermission down a goal.

The Black Bears dominated the second period. Kuopalla added another goal seven minutes into the period, and the two teams were locked at two for the second time in two nights. It didn’t take overtime on Saturday for the Black Bears to go in front when, three minutes later, Sam Morrison scored her first goal of the game and third of the weekend, giving the Black Bears a 3-2 lead. The pressure remained strong for the Black Bears, resulting in third-year defenseman Adrianna van de Leest scoring the Black Bears’ third goal of the period, propelling them to a 4-2 lead entering the second intermission.

Maine secured the lead and never looked back. Halfway through the third period, third-year forward Mira Seregely put the finishing touches on the weekend sweep, scoring a goal to give the Black Bears a 5-2 lead and eventual win. The weekend sweep for the Black Bears earned them a playoff contest this Wednesday, Feb. 28, hosting Merrimack University at Alfond Sports Arena.

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