BEVERLY, Mass. - Top-seeded and 10th-ranked Endicott scored three unanswered goals as the fourth-seeded Stevenson women's ice hockey team fell 4-2 in the Colonial Hockey Conference semifinals Saturday afternoon at Raymond J. Bourque Arena.
With the win, Endicott advances to the Colonial Hockey Conference title game and will face the winner of the second semifinal contest between second-seeded Morrisville St. and third-seeded Canton on Sunday.
The Mustangs (14-11-1) finish with their third consecutive winning season.
The first shot of the day for Stevenson found the back of the net just 2:17 in as junior Chelsea Ellis netted her third of the season as she beat Vendela Jonsson on the near left post. Junior Monica Pozuc picked up her 18th assist of the season, tying the single season record.
Blackburn also picked up an assist on the goal and tied her single season record of 33 points. Ellis moves one goal shy of becoming the 12th player in program history to record 10 in a career.
Down the other end, the Gulls (24-3-1) had a two-on-one opportunity but Michaela McNamara's shot dinged off the crossbar. Endicott recorded 15 shots on net in the opening period.
The Mustangs had the first power-play opportunity of the day as junior Natalie Rosendahl drew a tripping penalty just 4:50 into the period. But the best penalty kill unit in Division III stood strong as the defense came up with four blocked shots while Jonsson knocked away two shots.
Endicott tied the game at 1-1 with 3:19 remaining in the opening period as Jade Meier scored on the first power-play opportunity for the hosts after Ellen Carter sent it towards the net from the blue line. It is the fourth game in the last five that Stevenson has allowed a power-play goal.
Midway through the second period, the Mustangs went back to the power-play after a hooking call against the hosts and Pozuc scored just the third power-play goal against the Gulls. Pozuc has 13 points in her last eight games.
Just 1:15 later, Endicott retied the game following a scrum in front of the net. With the majority of the players fighting for the puck on the right post, Jillian Gibbs was able to score after the puck slide to the back side of the net.
In the third period, the Gulls took their first lead of the game at the 8:56 mark as Holly Erbe's shot changed direction after hitting off of a Mustang defender's skate.
With 2:01 remaining in regulation, Stevenson took a costly penalty and Endicott made the Mustangs pay as Gibbs recorded her second goal of the night after the Gulls wasted some time passing the puck around the top before going to the net.
The hosts then won the ensuing face-off and thus kept sophomore goalkeeper Caitie Darosa in the cage before she was finally able to get off with 37 seconds remaining. Junior Sarah Antonelli was able to get two shots off in the closing seconds but only one got to net and was saved by Jonnson.
Darosa finisehd with a career-high 39 saves as the Mustangs were outshot, 41-27. Endicott finished 2-for-3 on the power-play while Stevenson was 1-for-3.
Rosendahl finished with four blocked shots while junior Allie Bruns recorded three.