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Salve Regina blanks PSU Women’s Ice Hockey

Panthers knocked out of ECAC East playoffs

            MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – The Salve Regina women's ice hockey team has faced five different opponents in the last five playoff games and finally broke the curse of its home ice Saturday evening as the second-seeded Seahawks posted a 5-0 win over seventh-seeded Plymouth State University in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Women's East ice hockey tournament at St. George's Ice Arena.

            The win is the Seahawks' first career win in the playoffs at home as the Seahawks improve to 16-6-4 overall while the Panthers, making their second straight post-season appearance after earning the eighth seed a year ago, end their season at 5-19-2 overall.

            Senior Shannon Coleman (Chicago, Ill.) collected pass from junior Sarah Markey (Ashland, Mass.) from behind the net and sent a hard slap shot into the top right corner of the net to give Salve Regina 1-0 lead 6:23 into action. The lone goal would prove to be enough as ECAC Women's East All-Rookie goalie Colleen Marcik (Madison, Conn.) posted the Seahawks first shutout in the playoffs since 2009.

            Just 13 seconds into their first power play of the game, junior Taylor Shepherd (Quincy, Mass.)gave the Seahawks a 2-0 lead with her 11th goal of the season. Shepherd went in unassisted just at the halfway point of the first period.

            Sophomore Shelby Johnson (Sterling, Mass.) took a pass from freshman Amanda Cronin (Medfield, Mass.) and Markey and slid the puck past the Panther goalie on the Seahawks second power play of the period to give Salve Regina a comfortable 3-0 lead after the first period.

            Cronin notched her sixth goal of the season just five minutes into the second period off a quick feed from senior Monika Borkowski (Ann Arbor, Mich.) to give Salve Regina 4-0 lead in the second. After Plymouth State killed off a pair of power plays, freshman Michelle Holmes (Goffstown, N.H.) got in on the scoring action with her eighth of the year off a pass from Coleman.

            Salve Regina and Plymouth State each killed off a pair of power plays in the third while neither goalie allowed a goal in the final 20 minutes of action. Plymouth State got one of its best looks of the game as freshman Haley Branovan (Wexford, Pa.) split two defenders and took on Marcik one-on-one but the freshman goalie turned away a wrap around shot to keep the shut out intact.

            Marcik needed just 18 saves in the shut out while ECAC Women's East All-Star goalie senior Ali Ponte (Richmond Hill, Ont.) made 40 saves in the net for the Panthers.

            Salve Regina will continue on its bid for the ECAC Women's East crown as the Seahawks will host Castleton in the semifinals next Saturday, March 1 at St. George's Ice Arena.

 (Courtesy of Salve Regina Sports Information)

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