By: Cullen McIntyre, Sports Editor
The Women’s Ice Hockey team put five goals past Suffolk in an emphatic 5-2 victory over Suffolk University. The New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) matchup placed the Southern Maine Huskies in third place over Suffolk following the win on Saturday, Feb 1.
The Huskies celebrated Senior Day before the puck dropped, as it was the final home game for six seniors from Southern Maine. Senior goalie Whitney Padgett (Exercise Science), forward Jill Hannigan (Accounting), defender Grace Simmons (Nursing), defender Mikayla Butkus (Nursing), forward Katie Nolan (General Management), and forward Amanda Piknick (Liberal Studies) all took photos with their families in a ceremony pregame.
The first goal came only 1:58 into the first period, as Hannigan worked her way around the goalie and slotted the puck past the Suffolk goalie for a quick 1-0 lead, assisted by freshman Peyton Dukas (Health Sciences) and sophomore Chelsea Skluzacek (Psychology). The Huskies continued to capitalize in the first period from as sophomore Julianne Nelson won the faceoff following a penalty and battled for an unassisted solo goal for a 2-0 lead over Suffolk.
Southern Maine grabbed their third 52 seconds into the second period, as Shannon Colbert hit the one-time shot into the goal for the 3-0 lead. The Huskies continued to control the second period, but were unable to get another goal.
Padgett kept the shutout alive until Suffolk grabbed two quickfire goals within 80 seconds of each other in the third period. The first came from junior Maddy Burton, whose unassisted shorthanded goal was scored 4:38 into the period. Burton assisted sophomore Shana Cote’s goal that brought the game within one.
The tension could be felt in the USM Ice Arena as Suffolk looked to come back to life in the final period of play, but freshman Maddy Young (Biology) would steal the puck at center ice taking it on a breakaway and scoring her first collegiate goal for the 4-2 lead. The Huskies secured the victory with an empty net goal scored by sophomore Brianna Doty (Nursing) with two minutes left to play.
Southern Maine’s victory made it four in a row, as their overall record improves to 10-10-2 and 8-5 in the NEHC. Padgett made 21 saves in the victory, earning herself NEHC Goaltender of the Week along with her 30 save performance in the game prior against UMass Boston.
The Huskies close out their season on the road at New England College on Friday, Feb 14 with the puck dropping at 4 pm.