ORONO, Maine - Senior goaltender Jen Huggon (Plymouth, Mass.) stopped 24 shots to record her 12th shutout of the season and lead the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire to Tuesday night's 3-0 Women's Hockey East victory against the University of Maine at Alfond Arena.
UNH, which defeated the Black Bears 5-1 and 1-0 at the Whittemore Center earlier this season improved to 22-5-2 overall and 11-1-0 in Women's Hockey East while Maine is now 8-12-4, 1-6-2. The Wildcats, who are second in the conference standings, moved within one point of first-place Providence College and has a game in hand vs. the Friars.
Huggon, whose 12 shutouts are UNH's single-season record, extended her school career shutout record to 24. Maine goaltender Lara Smart made 17 saves, including 12 in the third period.
Stephanie Jones (Kimberley, B.C.) broke a scoreless tie at 8:29 of the third period. Smart stopped the initial shot by Nicole Stefanilo (Sanford, Maine) from the right point but Jones corralled the rebound and, after hitting the right post with one shot, jammed the puck into the open net.
Kristine Butt (Pembroke, Mass.) extended the lead to 2-0 at 11:01 when she redirected Allison Edgar's (Brigden, Ont.) shot from the left point into the net. Debbie Bernhard (Acton, Mass.) was also credited with an assist.
Vicki Davis gave the 'Cats a 3-0 lead at 16:31. Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N.Y.) carried the puck into the right circle and centered the puck to Kristen Thomas (Wilmington, Mass.), who in turn left the puck for Davis. She fired a shot into the upper-right corner of the net.
Maine, already on the power play, pulled Smart in favor of an extra skater with 1:06 remaining but could not score against Huggon.
In a scoreless first period, Maine generated a 5-3 shot advantage and was denied on the best scoring opportunity of the opening stanza when Karen Droog was stoned by Huggon on a breakaway in the closing seconds.
The Black Bears had an 11-2 edge in shots in the second period, which included breakaway opportunities by Droog and UNH's Jaime VanMassenhove (Alpena, Mich.). Six minutes into the frame, Droog skated down the slot alone and shifted to her backhand in an attempt to stuff the puck inside the left post. Huggon extended her right leg pad to make the save, however, and keep the game scoreless. Two minutes later, a two-line pass by Thomas sent VanMassenhove into the offensive zone at the right point. She cut accross the slot and her close-range backhander was turned aside by Smart.
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 14 (7 p.m.) at Niagara University. The next Wildcat home game is Feb. 25 vs. Quinnipiac University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.