PINE VALLEY, N.Y. — The 2021 United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) Pat Thompson Trophy will remain in Elmira. With a 5-1 victory over fifth-seeded Nazareth College (8-2-0), the top-seeded Elmira College women’s ice hockey team (13-1-0) secured its fourth consecutive UCHC title.
It marked the second time in Elmira’s illustrious history that the Soaring Eagles have won conference titles four consecutive times. The last stretch of league titles occurred from 2001-05, the first four years of the program’s existence. Additionally, the league title was the 11th in EC’s 20-year history.
It was a physical title game, one that saw both teams battle for each and every puck. Yet the rough and tough nature of the contest only produce six power-play chances split evenly between the two sides. Elmira scored once on three power-play opportunities, while Nazareth came up empty on three chances.
The Soaring Eagles opened the title game by scoring three straight goals.
Elmira broke through for the game’s first goal with just 20.7 seconds left on the first-period clock. A shot from Emma Crocker ’21 from the right post was deflected by a Nazareth defenseman and the puck trickled just outside the crease. Nazareth’s goaltender, Adrianna Brehm, lost sight of the puck of the deflection, leaving Morgan Mordini ’22 wide open to clean up the rebound for the goal. Eliza Beaudin ’22 was credited with a secondary assist on the goal, as her pass to Crocker initiated the scoring play.
Then in the second period, Brooke McArdle ’22 doubled Elmira’s lead with an absolute snipe. Passes from Madi Morton ’24 and Tristen Tolan ’21 set McArdle up with a shot from the right dot. The third-year forward went bar-down for the tally at 6:29.
Elmira’s lead was pushed to 3-0 at 19:30 when Morton scored on the power play. Jess Adams ’21 intercepted a Nazareth clearance in EC’s attacking zone and slid a pass along the blue line to Morton, who fired a slap shot past Brehm for the power-play goal.
EC’s three-goal lead was short lived though, as Makenna Wiljanen answered just 10 seconds later to trim the Soaring Eagle lead to just two, 3-1, entering the third period.
In the third period, Elmira locked in defensively and kept the Golden Flyers scoreless through 20 minutes. EC’s efforts included two penalty kills, as well as Nazareth skating with an extra attacker for 1:28.
Although EC’s defense was dialed in, the offense was just as impressive. The Soaring Eagles scored twice late in the final frame, starting with an even-strength goal from Crocker at 13:31. A shot from Mordini was initially saved by Brehm, but Crocker followed it up and buried the rebound from just outside the crease.
EC’s second goal was scored by Beaudin, shorthanded, on an empty net at 18:08. Beaudin’s goal was scored from Elmira’s defensive zone, which all but clinched a 5-1 win and the UCHC Pat Thompson Trophy.
Elizabeth Hanson ’21 backstopped Elmira’s efforts with a 24-save performance in the final game of her collegiate career. She made 11 saves in the third period to secure the victory and collect her 12th win of the season.
News and Notes
- Elmira captured the 11th conference championship in its storied history tonight.
- Since the UCHC was formed, the Soaring Eagles have won all four conference titles, which are named after former Vice President of Athletics and EC Hall of Famer, Pat Thompson ’75.
- With the four-peat, the members of the Class of 2021 have won a conference championship every year of their collegiate career.
- EC’s four-peat marks the second time in program history that the Soaring Eagles have hoisted four consecutive conference trophies.
- The men’s and women’s ice hockey teams both won their respective 2021 championships, the first time both teams have won a conference title in the same season since 2002-03.
- The Purple and Gold outscored their opponents 18-1 in the three rounds of the 2021 UCHC Championships.
- Morton (1g-2a), Mordini (1g-1a), Crocker (1g-1a), and Eliza Beaudin ’22 (1g-1a) each finished with multiple points in Tuesday’s title game.
- Hanson ends her career ranked first in all-time in save percentage (.952), second in goals-against average (0.80), seventh in wins (34), and eighth in saves (596).
- Crocker moved into 10th place all-time with 111 career points.
- The Soaring Eagles improved to 5-1-0 all-time against the Golden Flyers.