PAWTUCKET, R.I. - Stevenson women's ice hockey senior Sarah Antonelli netted her first goal of the season and became the 13th player to find the back of the net this year as the Mustangs erased an early deficit to down former Colonial Hockey Conference foe, Johnson & Wales, 3-2 Saturday evening at Lynch Arena.
The win for the Mustangs (5-7-3) was the sixth in the seven-game series and third straight between the two teams. It was also the fourth consecutive one-goal game in the series. After Stevenson started the season winless in its opening seven games, the team is now unbeaten in seven of its last eight. The Mustangs also improve to 54-5-2 in program history when scoring at least three goals and 60-9-7 when holding their opponent to two goals or less.
The hosts opened the scoring at the 6:55 mark of the first period with a rebound goal as Drea Westgaard found the loose puck in front after a shot by Hannah Tracy. After Stevenson recorded the opening two shots of the game, the Wildcats (5-9-3) took five of the next six, including the goal. It was the 53rd time under head coach Tracy Johnson the Mustangs' opponent has scored first. Stevenson improves to 12-37-4 in those games.
The Mustangs answered before intermission as senior Kellen Wittman finished a pass from freshman Angelica Saluzzo. Wittman has all eight of her points this season over her last five games, totaling five goals and three assists.
Stevenson took a 2-1 lead just 4:32 into the second period as senior Chelsea Blackburn netted her team-leading 11th goal of the season to extend her point streak to nine games on an assist from junior Cierra Siemasko. Blackburn has totaled 15 of her 16 points this season during the nine game point streak. It is also her sixth goal in six games versus Johnson & Wales.
With the second intermission lead, the Mustangs improve to 47-1-1 under Johnson when holding a lead after two periods.
The Wildcats tied the game in the third period at the 8:11 mark before Antonelli concluded the scoring with 5:25 remaining in regulation. It is the fifth point for Antonelli versus Johnson & Wales. Blackburn and senior Monica Pozuc recorded the assists. Pozuc has an assist in four consecutive game and inches one closer to the program record. Pozuc has 41 career assists, sitting just seven shy of tying the record.
Sophomore Annie Smyth-Hammond finished with 25 saves in net.
After being outshot, 12-8 in the opening period, the Mustangs outshot Johnson & Wales 22-15 the rest of the way. Both teams were scoreless on the power play with Stevenson going 0-for-2 while killing off all three shorthanded situations. The Mustangs won 27 of the 46 face-offs with senior Chelsea Ellis winning 11 of her 14.
Stevenson continues its four-game road trip on Friday, January 19 when the Mustangs travel to Chatham for a two-game United Collegiate Hockey Conference series. Puck drop is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.