RYE, N.Y. – With a lone power-play goal in the second period and an empty-netter in the third the second seeded Valiants of Manhattanville College defeated women's ice hockey by the final score of 2-0 Saturday afternoon in the first round of the ECAC Easter tournament at the Playland Ice Casino.
Saturday's victory advances Manhattanville to next week's semi-final round, where they will face the third-seeded Pilgrims of New England College. The Valiants entered this year's tournament as the defending tournament champions. For the Beacons they closed out their 2011-12 season with a 7-15-3 record. Manhattanville improved to 14-8-4 with the win.
Looking to pull off the upset of the tournament the Beacons came out firing in the opening minutes of the first period. Both teams were evenly matched throughout the period, but it was Manhattanville who would earn a 13-5 advantage in shots.
In the second period Manhattanville broke the scoreless draw midway through the frame when they capitalized on a power-play attempt. Scoring the deciding goal was Katie Little, her 14th of the season. That lone goal would hold-up for the final 10 minutes of the period and all of the third. UMass would try to score the equalizer over the final 30 minutes of play, but were unable to get the puck past Valiants goalie Emy Cote. Manhattanville sealed the win with an empty-netter with 1:08 left in the contest.
Goaltender Leah Hallett (Rocky Hill, Conn.) was once again impressive in her final collegiate contest as she posted 36 saves. Hallett closed out her career at UMass Boston as the all-time leader in multiple categories and will forever rank amongst the top goalies to ever compete for the women's hockey program.
Also competing in her final game was senior Brittany Usmail (New Hartford, N.Y.) who now ranks in the top-10 all-time for most games played in a career, as well as most consecutive games played.