LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A career-high 31 saves from goaltender Elizabeth Hanson '21 led fifth-ranked Elmira College women's ice hockey to a 3-0 victory over Lake Forest College in the first half of the team's Midwest road swing on Friday afternoon.
With the non-conference win, EC improved to 5-1-0 overall, with all five wins coming in shutout fashion. Lake Forest, a member of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA), fell to 2-5-0 overall after suffering a third consecutive setback.
Between the pipes, Hanson maintained a perfect ledger, as the third-year goalie boosted her season record to 3-0-0 and without allowing a goal in 179:53 minutes of action. In one of the tougher tests of her career on the long road trip, the Stoughton, Massachusetts, native surpassed 30 saves in a game for the first time as a Soaring Eagle. She was at her best after Elmira took the lead, as Hanson made 11 saves in the second period and preserved the shutout with a game-high 12 saves in the third.
After a scoreless opening period, the Elmira offense received a jumpstart from two unlikely sources, as second-year forward Mary McCafferty '22 and freshman Kelly Matthews '23 each netted their first goal of the season. The eventual game-winning tally came 7:44 into the period on a perfectly-timed breakaway. Devyn Gilman '21 earned the primary assist on the goal with an excellent tape-to-tape pass that found McCafferty in stride on the blue line, setting her up one-on-one with the Lake Forest goalie.
A little over 10 minutes later, Matthews' first collegiate goal doubled the EC lead to 2-0. The possession began as Morgan Mordini '22 intercepted a pass and held the puck inside the zone after the Foresters won a neutral zone faceoff. The puck cycled around to Emma Crocker '21, whose initial shot attempt was saved by goalie Jacque Rogers, but Mordini made a heads-up play to poke the rebound across the crease to Matthews. The freshman forward caught a sprawling Rogers out of position and had a wide-open window on the backside of the crease to finish the play.
The Foresters kept the deficit at two for the majority of the third period but were unable to find a chink in Hanson's armor, despite receiving a power-play opportunity early in the period. With 14 seconds remaining in regulation, Gilman broke out of the zone and was on the receiving end of a long pass from McCafferty, setting the junior up for a similar breakaway goal that extended the advantage to 3-0.
In Their Own Words…
Head Coach Tim Crowley when asked about playing in an unfamiliar arena against an opponent Elmira hasn't seen since 2006…
"Everyone was excited about playing a different opponent in a different rink away from home. I thought we responded well after a tough first period and played with structure."
Coach Crowley's thoughts on Elizabeth Hanson's shutout performance in goal for the Soaring Eagles…
"She's been great and is very deserving of her opportunity. She made the saves when we needed them, especially in the third period."
News and Notes
- Elmira and Lake Forest met for just the second time ever and the first time since January 7, 2006.
- With the win, Elmira evened the all-time series at 1-1-0.
- McCafferty (1g-1a) and Gilman (1g-1a)each posted a game-high two points.
- McCafferty and Matthews each scored their first goal of the season, while Mordini picked up her first point of the year with an assist.
- Matthews' goal also marked the first of her career, making her the fourth freshman to score a goal in 2019-20.
- Hanson's goals-against average (0.00) and save percentage (0.00) remained perfect on the season.
- With her third shutout, Hanson set a single-season career-high, and the junior has earned seven of her 10 career wins in shutout fashion.
- Hanson's career-high 31 saves are nine more than her previous single-game best.
The second round of the Lake Forest Invite will pit Elmira in a top-10 matchup, as the No. 5 Soaring Eagles will face the No. 6-ranked Blugolds from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Saturday, November 30. Puck drop from inside Lake Forest's Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse is set for 1:30 p.m. ET.