HERSHEY, Pa. - Stevenson women's ice hockey freshman Angelica Saluzzo netted her first career goal while classmate Annika Carlander recorded her second career shutout as the Mustangs cruised to a 6-0 United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) and Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) victory over Lebanon Valley Saturday evening at Hersheypark Arena.
The Mustangs (10-7-4, 7-3-2 UCHC/4-0-0 MAC) have won six of their last seven with the lone blemish coming in an overtime tie versus Utica. With the win, Stevenson maintains sole possession of fourth place in the UCHC, three points ahead of Manhattanville and just three points behind third place Neumann.
Just past the midway point of the opening period, the Dutchmen (2-15-2, 1-10-1 UCHC/1-4-1 MAC) were trying to clear the zone and a pass by one of the Lebanon Valley skaters hit off the skate of senior Kellen Wittman back to classmate Allie Bruns deep in the neutral zone. Bruns found senior Chelsea Blackburn who skated through the neutral zone all the way to net and beat goaltender Jillian Moffatt to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage at the first intermission.
Blackburn has a point in 14 of the last 15 games and has scored in all four game versus Lebanon Valley. Meanwhile, Bruns has an assist in three straight games.
Stevenson recorded 24 shots in the opening period, compared to just two for Lebanon Valley. The Mustangs earned two power play opportunities in the first 20 minutes of play and fired a combined seven shots on net but all were knocked away by Moffatt before senior Savannah Sommers hit the pipe right before the second power play expired.
Sommers opened the second period scoring with her fourth goal of the season and first since December 2. Senior defender Sarah Antonelli kept the puck in the offensive zone at the blue line, finding Sommers cross ice before Sommers curled toward the net and beat Moffatt to give the Mustangs a two-goal lead. Antonelli has three assists over her last three games.
The Mustangs went on the power play for the third time in the game, 5:57 into the second period, and needed just six seconds to find the back of the net. Junior Cierra Siemasko won the face-off to Sommers on the wing who sent the puck to the blue line to sophomore Carly McGee who fired a shot on net. Siemasko was there in front to clean up the rebound for her fourth power play goal of the season.
It is the fourth consecutive game Stevenson has scored a power play goal and fifth in the last six games.
With under five minutes remaining in the second period, freshman Trinity Barcless carried the puck into the offensive zone, eventually leaving the puck for senior Chelsea Ellis who wrapped around the back of the net before firing a shot on net. After the initial save by Moffatt, Saluzzo was there to poke the rebound past Moffatt to the back of the net. Saluzzo becomes the 15th skater to score for the team this season.
Stevenson committed its second penalty of the game just 1:16 into the third period but it was the Mustangs who went on the offensive as Blackburn carried the puck deep into the offensive zone, firing a shot on net as Pozuc was there to clean up the rebound for the shorthanded goal. It is the first shorthanded goal in Pozuc's career and first for the Mustangs this season. Pozuc becomes just the fifth player to net a shorthanded goal.
With 5:18 remaining in regulation, the Mustangs once again were whistled but the penalty kill units once again went to work on offense, this time Blackburn taking the puck from behind her own net and beating all of the Dutchmen defenders before scoring bar down over the glove of Moffatt. It is the sixth career shorthanded goal for Blackburn and it marks just the second time Stevenson has netted two shorthanded goals in a game.
The Mustangs outshot Lebanon Valley, 78-8 while winning 46 of the 63 face-offs. Siemasko went 17-for-20 at the face-off dot.
Stevenson returns to action on Friday, February 9 when the Mustangs host a UCHC contest versus Neumann on Senior Day. Face-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.