Orono, Maine - The University of Maine women's ice hockey team pulled out a 4-2 victory of visiting Northeastern in a crucial late season Hockey East showdown. The Black Bears improve to 5-19-2 overall and 2-11-1 in conference play. The Huskies still hold onto the final playoff spot as they slide to 10-13-2 on the season and 5-9-0 in Hockey East. Myriam Croussette (Baie-Comeau, Quebec) stole the spotlight as she netted two goals and an assist in the win.
Maine leapt out to a early lead as Alyssa Wohldeiler's slashing penalty gave the Black Bears the man advantage. Jordan Colliton (Blackie, Alberta) placed herself on the goalie's weak side, giving her positioning to score on the power play at 4:54 in the game. The goal was Colliton's third of the season and Jenna Ouellette (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Lexie Hoffmeyer (Grand Blanc, Mich.) assisted on the play.
Maine held the 1-0 lead into the second period before another penalty on Northeastern put the Black Bears back on the power play. Jennie Gallo (Castlegar, British Columbia) fed Vanessa Vani (St. Catharines, Ontario) to the goalie's left before Vani dumped down to Croussette behind the net. Croussette fired a shot that looked to be a one-timer to a crashing Amy Stech (Duluth, Minn.), but the puck hit the back of goaltender Florence Schelling and bounced into the net at 5:02.
After two power play goals Maine put some distance on the Huskies with an even strength score just over four minutes later. This time Vani earned the tally, her fifth of the season, from Gallo and Croussette.
Northeastern finally jumped onto the board 10:02 into the second to trim the lead to two. Wohlfeiler ripped a shot from the middle of the ice that screamed past netminder Genevieve Turgeon (Lac Beauport, Quebec) for her seventh goal of the season.
The Black Bears regained the three score lead 7:43 into the third period as a Hoffmeyer pass set up Gallo for a fearsome shot that Schelling barely saved. The puck trickled off of the goalie and slowly bounced through the crease, heading just wide of the net. Seizing the opportunity Croussette crashed the net, launching her body forward as her stick redirected the puck into the goal for her fourth score of the year.
With time winding down the Huskies' Katy Applin took a Wohlfeiler pass and put it past Turgeon for a power play goal with only 1:23 left in the game. Northeastern then pulled its goalie to create a six-on-five, but the Maine defense held strong to secure the 4-2 win.
Turgeon's steady play in net, featuring several highlight reel saves, earned her 31 saves and improved her record to 4-18-1 this season. The Huskies' Schelling stopped 21 shots, but dropped to 4-7-1. The Black Bears were outshot 33-25 in the contest.
The University of Maine women's ice hockey team is set to host Hockey East's Skating Strides program tomorrow, Jan. 31, during its contest with Northeastern at 7 p.m. Skating Strides enters its third year raising money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer with proceeds and donations benefiting the Susan G. Komen foundation.