Trio Leads Mustangs to 2-1 UCHC Victory Over Chatham

Trio Leads Mustangs to 2-1 UCHC Victory Over Chatham

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The trio of seniors Chelsea Blackburn and Monica Pozuc and junior Cierra Siemasko all recorded two points as the Stevenson women's ice hockey team posted its third straight win as the Mustangs finished a United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Saturday afternoon at Alpha Ice Complex.

After starting the season winless in their first seven games, the Mustangs (7-7-3, 4-3-1 UCHC) have dropped just one in their last 10. The win was also the eighth in the eight-game series versus Chatham, with five of the wins coming by one goal.

The visitors applied early pressure, firing a pair of shots on the opening shift. Stevenson attempted 30 shots in the opening period but only 14 of them found its way to goaltender Devon Strachan. The Mustangs outshot Chatham, 14-4 in the opening period with the Cougars defense totaling 11 blocked shots.

Pozuc gave Stevenson an early scoring chance after carrying the puck into the offensive zone early in the period and firing a shot while falling that dinged off the bar. The Mustangs also had two power play opportunities in the first 20 minutes, firing three shots in the first minute of the first player advantage. Stevenson added two shots in the second power play attempt but Strachan kept all five power play shots in front of her.

In the final 30 seconds of the opening period, the Mustangs kept the pressure in the Cougars (2-12-2, 0-10-0 UCHC) defensive zone with Blackburn firing a pair of shots to close the period.

Late in the second period, Stevenson committed its first penalty of the game, coming with 2:24 left in the period. But just 1:09 seconds later, Chatham went to the box after a slashing penalty. The teams were four-on-four for 52 seconds before the Mustangs had their fourth power play attempt for 1:08.

With 12:33 remaining in the third period, the Mustangs took a 1-0 lead after Pozuc netted her third goal of the weekend. Blackburn passed the puck ahead to Siemasko who carried it into the offensive zone before leaving it back for Blackburn who fired a shot. Pozuc collected the rebound and fired it to the top corner over the glove hand of Strachan.

Just 11 seconds later, the Cougars responded despite losing the ensuing face-off. Kirajean Frost got the puck at the blue line and carried it towards the net before beating junior Caitie Darosa low at the near post.

Siemasko netted her second career game-winning goal and first this season after burying a rebound in front of the net with 3:03 remaining in regulation. Pozuc passed the puck ahead to Blackburn who fired a shot off the pads of Strachan before Siemasko poked in the winner on the far post.

The line of Blackburn, Pozuc and Siemasko combined for 11 points in the two-game sweep and now have 29 points on 11 goals and 18 assists. Blackburn has an 11-game point streak while Pozuc extends her point streak to six. With the assist, Pozuc is now six assists shy of tying the program record.

The Mustangs outshot Chatham, 53-24, marking the third time Stevenson has totaled 50 shots this season. The team is 13-0-0 when recording at least 50 shots in five seasons under head coach Tracy Johnson.

Despite not scoring on five power play opportunities, the Mustangs killed off its two penalty kill scenarios and improve to 49-13-3 when holding its opponent scoreless on the power play over the last five seasons. The team is also 22-9-0 in one-goal games during that span.

Darosa finished with 23 saves, including 14 in the second period. Freshman Abigail Shows recorded two of the teams six blocked shots. The Mustangs also won 36 of the 58 face-offs, with senior Chelsea Ellis recorded a team-high 15.

Stevenson returns to action on Friday, January 16 when the Mustangs host a two-game UCHC series versus Utica. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.