Photo courtesy of Endicott Sports Information
BEVERLY, Mass. – Second seeded Morrisville State College women's hockey made history Sunday afternoon as they claimed the programs first Colonial Hockey Conference (CHC) Championship Title, downing nationally ranked #8/10 and top seeded Endicott College by a 3-1 final on the Gulls home ice in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Morrisville State made their way to the final game after defeating Canton 4-2 in yesterday's semifinal contest. They wrap up the season 20-6-1, another program best, doubling their inaugural season's total (10) from just a year ago.
After a scoreless and evenly played first period, Morrisville State's Vanessa Klimpke (Winnipeg, MB) cut off an Endicott defenders pass and flew along the right wing skating past two defenders to poke the puck past Gull goaltender Venela Jonsson for the 1-0 Mustang lead 5:05 into the second.
Klimpke's score was just the first of three the Mustangs would put up on the board in the second period, as Jessica Ujcik (Munich, Germany) and Maddison Devlin (Campbell River, BC) each collected scores as well.
Just over midway through the second, Klimpke and fellow linesman Renee Stevenson (Winnipeg, MB) applied pressure behind the Endicott net and forced the Gulls to make a critical turnover where Ujcik collected the second Morrisville State score. Ujcik got the tip over the glove of Jonsson after Klimpke fed the puck from behind the net to the right of the crease for the tally at 11:35.
Nearly a minute and a half later, Morrisville State struck again for the 3-0 lead, as Devlin redirected the rifle from Kaitlyn Schlake (Nampa, ID) from the center of the zone after the swing pass from Stephanie Strymecki (Kelowna, BC) from the right wing.
Morrisville State outshot the Gulls 18-5 in the second period, creating a pace that Endicott found difficult to keep up with.
Endicott would turn the tables in the third period, though, and force the Mustangs to maintain great defensive play as they fired 17 shots towards Morrisville State net minder Renee Schmaltz (Beaumont, AB) in an attempt to put together a comeback.
Endicott was able to break through the wall of Schmaltz midway through the period on a scruff in front of net at the 10:51 mark, but that's all they would get as the sophomore goaltender made 16 total saves in the final 20, including three crucial stops in the closing minutes to earn the title win as Endicott pulled Jonsson for the extra skater.
Schmaltz finished with 30 saves on the day in the win, as Morrisville State collected its first title in program history.
Jonsson recorded the loss, despite turning away 26 on the day.
Schlake, Ujcik and Schmaltz each earned All-Tournament accolades for their play on the weekend, with Klimpke earning the tournament's Most Valuable Player honor.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2016 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2016 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.