Mustangs Hold Off Division I Sacred Heart, Snap Three-Game Losing Streak

Mustangs Hold Off Division I Sacred Heart, Snap Three-Game Losing Streak

SHELTON, Conn. - The Stevenson women's ice hockey team had nine different players register a point, including the 19th of the season by sophomore Chelsea Blackburn as the Mustangs defeated Division I Sacred Heart Friday evening at the Rinks at Shelton.

The Mustangs (12-3-1), who improve to 3-0 in one goal games this season, posted their fifth win over Sacred Heart in the last five and improve to 5-3-2 all-time. The team also snapped their three game losing streak after scoreing at least three goals for the first time in the last six games. The team had scored at least three goals in eight of its first 10 games to begin the season.

The win was also the 10th this season for senior Sarah Modzelewski, marking a new career high. She finished with 27 saves in net.

The 33rd career goal and 13th of the season by Blackburn put the visitors on the board first, just 5:49 into the contest. It is the seventh goal for the sophomore versus the Pioneers (7-6-2) in five games as she recorded two hat tricks a season ago.

Stevenson improved to a perfect 20-0 when Blackburn tallies a goal and is a combined 28-1 when she registers a point, the first loss coming five days ago.

Senior Katie Abbott and sophomore Monica Pozuc picked up their seventh and sixth assists, respectively, on Blackburn's tally. It is the third straight game Abbott has recorded a point after scoring power play goals in back-to-back games versus Augsburg.

The lead was the first for the Mustangs in the last four games. The team did not trail until the 13th game of the season. Stevenson is 12-0-0 when scoring first this season ad 31-5-1 in three seasons under head coach Tracy Johnson.

Sophomore Kellen Wittman scored her first goal of the season and fourth of her career at the 8:07 mark of the second period after intercepting a pass in the offensive zone. Senior Emma Sunness earned her first point of the season with an assist while sophomore Chelsea Ellis picked up her fourth.

For the fourth consecutive game, the Mustangs scored on the power play as senior McKenzie Taggart scored her program leading 13th power play goal with 4:37 remaining in the second period as the visitors built a 3-0 advantage.

Seniors Jessie Capanelli and Brooke Webber assisted on the Taggart goal as the senior class has combined for 42 of the team's 68 assists this season. The group has also had a hand in 46 of the team's 52 goals.

Sacred Heart scored on its second power play opportunity of the game, a five-on-three opportunity with 1:59 remaining in the middle frame. Amie Varano recorded her second goal and fifth point in eight games versus Stevenson.

The Pioneers cut their deficit to just one as the hosts scored their second power play goal of the game 8:40 into the third period. Just 2:07 later, Sacred Heart earned its fourth power play opportunity of the game, but the Mustangs killed it off, blocking two of the Pioneers five shots.

Stevenson has totaled 51 blocked shots on the penalty kill this season, including four tonight. Over the last 10 games, the Mustangs have averaged 15.0 blocks per game, totaling at least 11 in all of those contests.

An interference call against the Pioneers gave the visitors a power play opportunity with 2:03 remaining in regulation, allowing the Mustangs to run the clock out.

Stevenson concludes the two-game series at Sacred Heart on Saturday, January 16 before a 13-day break. Opening face-off is schedule for 4:00 p.m.