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Herons tame Panthers 4-1, clinch No. 3 seed

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

The William Smith hockey team scored four unanswered goals as it rallied for a 4-1 victory over Plymouth State in a New England Hockey Conference contest at Hanaway Rink this afternoon. With the win, the Herons conclude the regular season with a 16-8-1 overall record and an 11-6-1 mark in conference play.

Today’s victory clinched the No. 3 seed and at least one home playoff game in the conference tournament for William Smith. This is the Herons’ first home playoff game since 2018-19 and just the third home playoff game in program history.

Senior Mackenzie O’Neil finished the contest with two points on a goal and an assist. She was one of four different goal scorers for William Smith. Junior Erin Murray played all 60 minutes in goal. She made 16 saves.

Lauren McNeil scored for the Panthers (6-19-0, 6-12-0). Julian Amelia played all 60 minutes in goal. She made 31 saves.


  • William Smith’s 16 wins this season are tied for third-most in program history. The single-season record is 18.
  • With her goal today, Kayla Ketchabaw now has 13 for the season. That is seventh on William Smith’s single-season list.


  • The Herons finished the contest with a 35-17 advantage in shots on goal. That included an 11-3 advantage in the opening period.
  • The Herons were 1-for-3 on the power play and Plymouth State was 0-for-3 with the extra skater.


  • The Panthers opened the scoring at the 7:18 mark of the first period. McNeil weaved her way through traffic and wristed a shot inside the right goalpost. Her third goal of the season was assisted by Jacqueline Martin and Morgan Cunningham.
  • Senior Emma Faso scored the game-tying goal at the 18:42 mark of the opening frame. She banged home a rebound for her sixth goal of the season. Seniors Elizabeth MacMurray and O’Neil had assists on the power-play goal.
  • First-year Laine Heiser scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal at the 12:06 mark of the middle stanza. She stuffed a loose puck inside the left goalpost for her second goal of the season. Junior Annabel Ziskin had an assist on the goal.
  • O’Neil pocketed her 11th goal of the season at the 16:40 mark of the second period. She turned and fired a shot from the low slot past Julian. It was assisted by senior Alex George.
  • Just under two minutes later, Ketchabaw rounded out the scoring. Her 13th goal of the season was assisted by Brittany Foster and Ava Cornforth.


William Smith will be back in action next Saturday, Feb. 17 when it welcomes sixth-seeded Vermont State Castleton to The Cooler. Faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.