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February 3, 2012

Saint Michael’s edges PSU Women’s Hockey

Baruch snaps scoreless streak for Panthers

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Madelena Santore and freshman Kristen Spulecki tallied a goal and an assist each Friday night as Saint Michael's College came from behind to defeat Plymouth State University, 2-1, in Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Women's East ice hockey action at Hanaway Rink.

            Santore's goal early in the third period broke a 1-1 tie and proved to be the game-winner, as the Purple Knights held off the Panther pressure the rest of the way,  Saint Michael's won its second straight game and improved to 3-15-1 overall and 2-12-1 in league play.

            Plymouth State got its only goal in the first period from sophomore Jane Baruch, and 17 saves from senior goalie Nicole Provencher, but the Panthers dropped to 1-14-3 and 1-10-2 in the ECAC East.  Five of PSU's last eight losses have come by one goal.

            PSU came out with high energy in the first period and nearly took an early lead, but a shot by senior Jaimie Camara rang off the goal post just two minutes in.  The Panthers finally got on the board on the power play in the closing minutes of the period as Baruch's shot from the left circle made its way through traffic and into the goal for a 1-0 lead.  Twin sister Carrie Baruch and senior Abby Van Wormer collected assists on the goal.

            Saint Michael's battled back to tie the game with five minutes remaining in the second period.  Spulecki took a shot from the high slot that was blocked by the PSU defense, but Spulecki got her own rebound while charging toward the net and got her second attempt past Provencher to tie the game at 1-1.

            The Purple Knights pulled ahead at 4:31 of the third when Santore pulled a loose puck out of a scramble in front of the net and snapped a shot just under the crossbar. It was Santore's team-leading ninth goal of the season.

            Junior Erin Stevens made 21 saves to post the win in goal for Saint Michael's as PSU out-shot the visitors, 22-19.

            Plymouth State also celebrated Senior Night before the game, recognizing eight Panther seniors – Provencher, Camara, Van Wormer, Bri Davis, Michelle Leonard, Molly Blaine, Tina Worley and student assistant Molly Irving.

            Both teams play another conference game Saturday, with Saint Michael's moving on to the University of Southern Maine for a 1:00 face-off and PSU hosting league-leading and #2-ranked Norwich at 2:30 p.m.           

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