RUTLAND, Vt. – Timely scoring and stingy defense was the theme of the Rutland Herald Invitational (RHI) championship game on Sunday afternoon, as Holy Cross earned its fifth straight RHI crown with a 4-0 win over nationally-ranked Endicott, 4-0.
Holy Cross improves to 12-2-0 on the season with the win, while handing No. 10 Endicott its first loss of the season as the Gulls fall to 12-1-1.
Sam Girard led the offense for Holy Cross with two goals and an assist, while Tori Messina finished the night with two points on a goal and an assist. Tessie Salatas recorded her first shutout of the season, making 18 saves in the win for the Crusaders. On the other side, Alyssa Peterson tallied 34 saves in the contest, despite dropping her first game of the season and falling to 3-1-0.
After a back-and-forth start to the period, Girard, named RHI's Most Valuable Player, started the scoring with less than five minutes remaining in the opening frame. Causing havoc in front of the net, Girard sent home a rebound off Jackie Gellner's initial shot from the point to give the Crusaders the only goal they would need at the 14:36 mark.
After Elizabeth Scala notched the only goal of the second period to double the Crusaders' lead, the Crusaders put it away in the third with insurance goals from Messina and Girard. With Holy Cross controlling possession on the power-play, Messina crept into the high slot and delivered a low punch past punch from Isabel Bagi and Maeve Reilly just 1:19 into the final stanza.
Despite multiple chances on the other end for Endicott, Salatas stood tall in net as Girard laid the finishing blow on a tic-tac-toe play from Messina and Violette at the 12:59 of the third.
After the game, both teams were recognized for their tournament performances. Two players from Endicott earned All-Tournament status, while three Crusaders were named to the All-Tournament team. Girard was named RHI MVP after recording five points in the tournament on three goals, including two game-winners, to go along with two assists.
|Illie Berisha||G||SUNY Canton|
|Elizabeth Scala||F||Holy Cross|
|Kara Violette||F||Holy Cross|
|Sam Girard (MVP)||F||Holy Cross|