Smyth-Hammond's 37 Saves Leads Mustangs in 1-1 Tie at UMass Boston

Smyth-Hammond's 37 Saves Leads Mustangs in 1-1 Tie at UMass Boston

BOSTON, Mass. - Stevenson women's ice hockey sophomore Annie Smyth-Hammond recorded a career-high 37 saves while senior Chelsea Blackburn netted her 10th goal of the season as the Mustangs finished in a 1-1 overtime non-conference tie versus UMass Boston Thursday evening at Edward T. Barry Ice Rink.

The Mustangs (4-7-3) remain unbeaten in program history in overtime, posting a 5-0-7 record. This is the first season in the six-year history that Stevenson has had multiple overtime games and it is just the third overtime game away from home ice.

It was the hosts early on who controlled the tempo of the game as the Beacons (4-7-4) fired three shots on Smyth-Hammond in the opening minutes after hitting the pipe on their first shot attempt of the game. But Stevenson responded with four consecutive shots of its own to level out the momentum.

The visitors got on the scoreboard first as Blackburn carried the puck into the offensive zone along the left boards before cutting back towards the center of the ice and firing the puck low on net. The puck bounced off and over the pads of Alyssa DePippo as the goaltender was late getting down. Blackburn, who has 53 points in 55 games away from home, extends her career-best point streak to eight games and has 14 points on nine goals and five assists during that stretch after starting the season with just one goal in the opening six games.

Meanwhile, senior Monica Pozuc picked up the assist on the goal and becomes just the second player to record 40 assists in program history. She has an assist in all three games she has played against UMass Boston and is just eight points shy of tying the program record of 48 assists. Pozuc also has an assist in three straight games.

The line of Blackburn, Pozuc and junior Cierra Siemasko has been paired together for the last four games and has produced 14 points on six goals and eight assists.

Late in the opening period, the Mustangs earned the games first power play opportunity but had their only two shot attempts blocked by the Beacons defense.

Stevenson went back on the power play early in the second period and would eventually have a five-on-three power play for 14 seconds, but DePippo made seven stops on the visitor's player advantage. The Mustangs finished 0-for-4 on the power play, snapping a five-game streak of at least one power play goal.

Just 44 seconds after killing off the five-on-three, UMass Boston went on its first power play of the contest but Smyth-Hammond came up with three saves while the defense came up with four blocked shots, including two by freshman Abigail Shows. Both teams finished with 17 blocked shots with senior Allie Bruns recording four.

Past the midway point of the third period, the Beacons had a five-on-three power play for 1:26 and following a timeout, Arielle Gallucci tied the game at 1-1 on a shot from the point that got by the Mustang blocker up top. Smyth-Hammond saw the puck too late as she was blinded by her defender out in front.

With still 20 seconds remaining on the second power play, UMass Boston won the ensuing face-off and fired three more shots with just one of them getting to Smyth-Hammond. Pozuc and Bruns recorded blocks on the other two shots.

The Mustangs had a pair of scoring chances late in regulation with the first coming with just under a minute remaining. From behind the net, sophomore Jordan Pirrello found senior Savannah Sommers in front but could not get it past DePippo. With the seconds ticking away, the visitors had a two-on-one breakaway and Pozuc passed the puck across to Blackburn who was able to get her stick on the bouncing puck but DePippo came up with another big save.

Stevenson dominated the overtime period, outshooting the Beacons, 9-1 but DePippo stopped all of them to finish with 42 saves. Meanwhile, Smyth-Hammond's 37 saves ranks ninth in program history.

The Mustangs outshot UMass Boston, 43-38 and won 36 of the 65 face-offs. Junior Allie Sabatini was efficient from the dot, winning seven of her 11 face-offs while Blackburn won a game-high 15.

Stevenson returns to action on Saturday, January 13 when the Mustangs travel to face former Colonial Hockey Conference foe Johnson & Wales. Opening face-off is scheduled for 6:55 p.m.