BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott women's club ice hockey team went 1-1 this past weekend against MIT and Westfield State. With the victory over MIT the Gulls clinched the #2 seed in the Independent Women's Collegiate Hockey League (IWCHL) and is set to face #3 Westfield State in the semifinals on Saturday, February 15th at 7:00 p.m. at Salem State University.
Game one at MIT: W, 4-2
In game one at MIT the Gulls opened up on fire with strong efforts from senior Jesse Bilafer (Concord, Mass.) who scored two early goals and an assist in the first period. The first came off a nice combo play with freshman Martha Crowley (Castleton, N.Y.) as she fed Bilafer the puck at the blue line where Bilafer was able to skate uncontested towards the goal and fake out the goaltender to take the 1-0 lead. Crowley followed in her stead as the light up the scoreboard three minutes later with a second uncontested goal as she carried the puck from her own zone and sped past the MIT defense to pull off the deke to earn the two goal advantage.
After another quick goal from Bilafer with help from junior Samantha Parr (Dedham, Mass.) the Gulls were in a strong position over the Engineers. In the third period, Parr continued her steady scoring pace as she beat the goaltender to give Endicott the 4-2 victory. Parr was strong all afternoon with the Engineers as she worked hard and effectively killed off the penalties while the Gulls were shorthanded.
Coach Munzing could not be more pleased with the victory stating, "We had great goaltending from Gretchen St.Pierre to complement the game plan. Stacy Tomlinson was outstanding in her role of "shadow" as she shutdown MIT's top player, Ariana Eisenstein. I was very happy with Lindsey Sneider, Katie Saunders, Mackenzie Dutton and Katie O'Hara all whom gave a quality game on the ice."
Game two vs. Westfield State: L, 0-4
In game two Endicott hosted Westfield State, the last meeting between the two was back in December when the Gulls fell to the Owls 8-3. The Blue and Green worked hard all game but seemed to play more of a defensive zone with huge efforts from Crowley, junior Mackenzie Hurst (Gilford, N.H.) and sophomore Stacie Tomlinson (Morrisville, Vt.) as they stepped up big in the defensive zone after missing two key defenders due to illness. They fought to the end with the speedy Owls offense.
Freshman Alyssa Marro (Wantaugh, N.Y.) earned her first start between the pipes for the Blue and Green as she played an impressive game earning 19 stops. Freshman goaltender MacKenzie Dutton (Andover, Mass.) gave the pads a rest as she took the ice as a forward in the contest and played an impressive offensive game along with sophomore Katey O'Harra (Amherst, N.H.).
Endicott's forwards had a number of good scoring chances but just could not finish as Westfield States goaltender, Andrea Dubin stopped all shots that came her way.
The Gulls will pick back up on Saturday, February 15th when they host Westfield State for the second straight weekend, but this time Endicott's championship hopes are at stake as the semi-final game is set for 7:00 p.m. at Salem State University.