Ponte posts shutout; Baruch, Gelinas score goals for Panthers
HENNIKER, N.H. – Senior goalie Ali Ponte (Richmond Hill, Ont.) stopped all 26 shots she faced Friday afternoon to record her second shutout of the season as Plymouth State University blanked New England College, 2-0, in a key Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) Women's East ice hockey game at Clement Arena.
PSU out-shot the home team 42-26 but NEC goaltender Lauren Hopps (Green Bay, Wisc.) totaled 40 saves to keep the Pilgrims in the game.
After a first period that saw zero penalties and no scoring, the Panthers struck at the 16:33 mark of the second period as senior Meghan Cassidy (Somerville, N.J.), positioned on the left hash marks, passed to classmate Carrie Baruch (Coventry, R.I.), positioned just outside the crease. Baruch poked it in to net her first goal of the season.
PSU freshmna Justine Gelinas (Lac Drolet, Quebec) added an insurance goal at 9:28 of the third period after knocking in the puck near the right post. Junior Kate Banys (Newburyport, Mass.) assisted on the goal from behind the red line.
The Pilgrims' best chance to score came in the final minutes of the game, as the Panthers took a penalty and NEC pulled Hopps for two extra skaters. NEC peppered Ponte with shots until a PSU defender cleared the puck and NEC's Tori Polehonka (Chino, Calif.) took a penalty preventing a Panthers' shot on NEC's empty net.
NEC had three opportunities to score on the power play, while PSU finished 0-for-5 with the extra skater opportunity.
With the loss the Pilgrims fall to 2-20-0 overall and 2-12-0 in ECAC East action, while the win boosts the Panthers to 4-15-2 overall and 2-9-2 in league play.
Both teams are back in action Saturday as PSU visits Castleton State College and NEC hosts the University of Southern Maine.
(Courtesy of New England College Sports Information)
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