Sophomore forward Sam Girard was named the Rutland Herald Invitational MVP after leading the Holy Cross women’s ice hockey team to its fifth straight RHI title

Sophomore forward Sam Girard was named the Rutland Herald Invitational MVP after leading the Holy Cross women’s ice hockey team to its fifth straight RHI title with three points on two goals and one assist, as the Crusaders downed Endicott 4-0 on Sunday

Sophomore forward Sam Girard

After back and forth action to start the opening period, Girard netted her first goal of the day at the 14:36 mark on a rebounded stick side wrist shot from the left wing to give Holy Cross a 1-0 lead. Sophomore defender Jackie Gellner, who took the original saved shot from the point, earned the assist.
Outshooting the Gulls 11-6 in the first period, the Crusaders entered the second frame with a one-goal advantage. Endicott went 0-for-1 on the only first period power play.
The Crusaders carried the momentum into the second period, outshooting the Gulls, 16-6. After fending off an Endicott power play 33 seconds into the second period, senior co-captain defender Isabela Bagi hit the post during a Holy Cross power play at the 4:09 mark.
Junior goaltender Tessie Salatas made a save on an Endicott breakaway at the 15:25 mark of the second period to prevent a shot from Rachel Lustenring to keep the Gulls off the board.
Then with just 48 seconds remaining in period two, Girard connected with senior forward Elizabeth Scala who scored a goal from the lower slot on a one-timer to lift the Crusaders ahead 2-0.
Endicott went 0-for-3 on the power play in the second period, as Holy Cross went 0-for-2.
The Crusaders started the final period with a power play goal at the 1:19 mark. Sophomore defender Tori Messina delivered a shot from the point through traffic, as junior forward Emily Lissner deflected the puck to the back of the net, giving the Crusaders a 3-0 edge.
Girard then put Holy Cross up 4-0 with her second goal of the day with 7:11 remaining on the clock. Off a rebounded shot sent in from Messina, junior co-captain forward Kara Violette passed the puck across the slot to Girard who found the back of the net off a stick side wrist shot.
The Crusaders skated away with the 4-0 victory, outshooting the Gulls 9-6 in the final period.

The Crusaders were led by Girard, who tallied three points on two goals and one assist. Messina registered a two-point game with a pair of assists.
The Crusaders outshot the Gulls, 38-18.
Salatas made 18 saves to earn her second career shutout win. She now has a 6-2-0 record this season.
Alyssa Peterson made 34 stops, allowing four goals to take the loss for the Gulls.
Holy Cross went 1-for-3 on the power play, killing five penalties, while Endicott went 0-for-5.

Scala and Violette were both named to the Rutland Herald Invitational All-Tournament team, as Girard earned the tournament’s MVP award.
Winning its fifth straight Rutland Herald Invitational championship, the Crusaders remain undefeated in the tournament’s history, having competed in all five years of its existence. Holy Cross is 10-0-0 in Rutland Herald Invitational action.
Holy Cross broke Endicott’s winning streak this season, as the Gulls entered the game undefeated with a 12-0-1 record.
With her goal tonight, Scala now has six goals and seven assists for 13 points. She has 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 career points.
Gellner picked up her third assist of the season. She now has one goal and three assists for four points. In her career she has one goal and 10 assists for 11 points.
Girard now leads the team with 11 goals this season. She also has seven assists for 18 points on the year. She has totaled 25 goals and 14 assists for 39 career points.
Messina now has four assists this season and two goals for six points. She has 12 assists and two goals for 14 career points.
Lissner picked up her second goal of the season. She has five assists to join her goals for six points this year. On her career, she has nine goals and seven assists for 14 points.
Violette has notched at least one point in four straight games.
Violette leads the Crusaders with 20 points on nine goals and 11 assists this season.
Sophomore forward Julie Matthias earned her sixth assist of the season. She now has eight goals and six assists for 14 points this year and 25 goals and 12 assists for 37 career points.
This was the first time Holy Cross faced Endicott. With its pair of victories over Colonial Hockey Conference foes this weekend, the Crusaders are now 2-0-0 all-time when squaring off against CHC opponents.

The Crusaders will return to Rutland, Vt. on Friday Jan. 13 when Holy Cross takes on Castleton in NEHC action at Spartan Arena at 7:00 p.m