Pioneers Drop 5-3 Decision to Holy Cross in ECAC Semis

COLCHESTER, Vt. – The third seeded Sacred Heart University women's ice hockey team fell to number two Holy Cross in the semi-final round of the ECAC Open Tournament, 5-3, at St. Michael's, Saturday afternoon.  The loss dropped the Pioneers into tomorrow's consolation game to take on the loser of semi-final number two between Saint Anselm and St. Michael's.

After a scoreless first period, the Crusaders put up a three spot in the second.  Junior Stacey Hotchkins registered a shorthanded goal 2:15 into the period.  Senior Jocelyn Kratchmer, from Hotchkins, lifted the Holy Cross lead to 2-0 with a goal 13:20 in.  Senior forward Brittany Hartman (Edina, Minn.) answered for SHU with a goal at the 16:21 mark, but the Crusaders pushed the lead back to two when Kratchmer netted her second goal of the contest.

Early in the final period, Hotchkins tallied her second score, followed by a goal from junior Nicola Garat to hand the Crusaders a 5-1 lead with 12:30 remaining in the game.  At the nine minute mark, junior forward Nicole Palazzo (Rocky Hill, Conn.), off a pass from sophomore Megan Murphy (Holden, Mass.), to cut the lead to three.  Sacred Heart pulled its goalie in the final two minutes and was able to punch in one more on senior forward Lauren Fontaine's (Windsor, Ont.) seventh goal of the season in the final minute of play.

In net for SHU, freshman Alexius Schutt (Elk River, Minn.) stopped 40 shots.  For Holy Cross, junior Carly Dominick-Sobol made 25 saves to advance into the ECAC Open Finals.

The Pioneers fell to 8-20-0 on the season and will take the ice tomorrow at 1:00 pm for the consolation game.