Freshman forward Kalli Funk netted the game tying goal with 14 seconds left in the third period to help the Niagara women’s hockey team (6-6-3) come away with a point in a 3-3 non-conference draw against the Maine Black Bears (7-5-2) Sunday afternoon at Alfond Arena.
"It was a great game today, battling back for the tie," said head coach Josh Sciba. "We had a lapse in the third, and Maine took advantage. I thought our powerplay was much better and our penalty kill was excellent. Moses did a great job today."
Despite Niagara entering the final period with a two goal lead, the Black Bears stormed back with three unanswered goals to gain the lead with less than two minutes left in the game. Niagara pulled netminder Sarah Moses at the 19:46 mark and Funk would capitalize with the extra-man, sneaking one behind Maine goaltender Kylie Smith for her third goal of the season. The goal came off a feed from sophomore forward Kaleigh Chippy, her sixth helper of the season.
"We have to learn how to play with a lead as a young team," added Sciba.
Freshman Kayla Raniwsky started the scoring for Niagara halfway through the first period for her third tally of the season. She was assisted by defender Kelsey Gunn. Junior forward Kelsey Welch grabbed her seventh goal of the season when she capitalized on a short-handed situation, giving the Purple Eagles a 2-0 lead 14:55 into the second stanza. The goal was assisted off a feed from Leah Whittaker. Despite Niagara being ahead by two, the scoring chances remained even at 16 at the end of 40 minutes of play.
The third period would be dominated by the Black Bears, as they outshot Niagara 20-5. A goal off the stick of Brittany Dougherty 6:15 into the final twenty minutes began the Black Bear’s comeback. She was assisted by Myriam Crouss and Brittany Huneke. Freshman Tori Pasquariello netted the next two goals to give Maine the 3-2 lead. The freshman's first tally came at the 5:05 mark after senior defender Ashley Norum found Pasquariello for the tap in. Less than four minutes later, Pasquariello would find the back of the net again off feeds from Dominique Goutsis and Huneke.
Moses finished the game with 33 saves, while Smith pushed aside 21 shots, including three in overtime.
The Purple Eagles travel back to Monteagle Ridge where they will host St. Cloud State for a two-game series. The first game is Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. and the finale of the weekend series is Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.