ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Stevenson women's ice hockey sophomore McKenzie Taggart recorded her first career hat trick, but five third period goals broke a tie game to lead St. Benedict to their second consecutive win, an 8-4 victory over the Mustangs Sunday at Dave Torrey Arena.
The two teams traded goals through the first 40 minutes, finishing the first period tied at 2-2 and the second at 3-3.
The Mustangs (3-5-1) struck early for the second straight game as sophomore Molly O'Neil scored unassisted just 1:36 into the first period.
The Blazers (2-5-0) tied the game on a power-play goal midway through the period before Taggart scored her sixth power-play goal assisted by sophomore Megan Alexander just one minute later to take a 2-1 lead.
Elli Marvin scored St. Benedict's first short-handed goal of the year to tie the game at 2-2 heading into the first intermission.
Taggart scored her second of the game 2:26 into the second period on assists by O'Neil and Alexnader who are both tied for first on the team with seven assists.
With the game tied for the third time at 3-3 entering the third period, the Blazers scored back-to-back goals to take a 5-3 lead with 8:07 remaining.
Taggart completed the first hat trick in the program's short two-year history with a deflection on sophomore Brooke Webber's shot to cut the lead to 5-4 with just over five minutes to play. O'Neil and Webber picked up the assists.
St. Benedict however would score three unanswered goals in a 2:13 span, including two on the power-play. The Blazers finished 3-for-9 on the extra-man opporutinty while the Mustangs were 1-for-6.
Taggart currently ranks second in all of Division III with 1.38 goals per game and ranks first with 0.75 power-play goals per game. Through just nine games this season, Taggart is already one point shy of tying her 13 points she had all last season.
Stevenson was outshot 48-19, including 18-5 in the final period while the Blazers also won 47-of-76 faceoffs.
Sophomore Mackenzie Bruch tied her career-high with 40 saves.
The Mustangs return to aciton on Friday, December 6 when they travel to face Connecticut College in a two-game set. Game time is 7:00 p.m.