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Sacred Heart Captures Second Straight DoubleTree Ice Hockey Classic

Senior Amie Varano, junior Brittany Smith and sophomore Haley Payne score for the win

Sacred Heart’s women’s ice hockey team won both games at Cairns Arena in South Burlington, Vt., early in January to claim the 12th annual DoubleTree Ice Hockey Classic, wrapping up its second consecutive title.

The Pioneers first downed host Saint Michael’s College, 3-1. Senior Amie Varano (Duxbury, Mass./Notre Dame Academy) recorded a goal and an assist, while junior Brittany Smith (Manchester, Mass./Manchester Essex) and sophomore Haley Payne (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) each scored once.

Junior Taylor Moreland (Kenosha, Wis./Milwaukee Jr. Admirals) went 22 for 28 on face-offs. Sophomore Sarah Erban (Attleboro, Mass./Tilton School) made 33 saves in the win. A scoreless first period was highlighted by 14 saves from St. Michael’s goalie, senior Tina Frasca, five of which came during a successful penalty kill for the Purple Knights. The Pioneers created a scoring chance on a 2-on-1 when senior Teagan Ketchum (Averill Park, N.Y./Albany Academy) sent a pass to Smith in the slot, but Frasca denied Smith the goal as she slid pipe to pipe.

Saint Michael’s fired nine shots in the first nine minutes of the second period but could not beat Erban. Sacred Heart opened the scoring at 11:14, when Varano let go of a shot from left half-wall that redirected off a crowd of skaters in front and past Frasca during a 5-on-3 power play.

The Pioneers doubled their lead barely more than a minute later, as Payne tallied with an assist from junior Carly Radovich (Hopkinton, Mass./Vermont Academy) at 12:37 during another woman advantage. Late in the period, St. Michael’s senior forward, Erin Dwyer, created a scoring chance as she gained an angle on her defender entering the zone and fired backhanded from the bottom of the left circle. Erban denied her with a pad save.

Early in the third, the Purple Knights finally beat Erban, as freshman forward Jordan Monbouquette sent a pass from the right corner to sophomore forward Christiana Akiki, who finished from the low slot to make the score 2-1.

The Pioneers reestablished their two-goal lead minutes later, as Smith beat a defender near the right wall and carried the puck in front before lifting it over Frasca’s glove. In the remainder of the third, the Purple Knights tested Erban nine times but were unable to cut into Sacred Heart’s lead.