No. 9 New Hampshire women's hockey surges past Maine, 5-2

ORONO, Maine - Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.) recorded a goal and assist and Rebecca Paul (Sudbury, Ont.) finished with two points, both on assists, to lead the ninth-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Friday afternoon's 5-2 Hockey East victory against the University of Maine at Alfond Arena.

UNH, with seven consecutive wins vs. Maine, is 15-8-3 overall and 10-1-1 in Hockey East Maine is 8-13-3, 5-7-2.

With the score tied, 2-2, in the third period, the Wildcats scored three goals in a span of 2:25 to break the game open. Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H) ignited the flurry with a wraparound goal at 7:57 and Martine Garland (Toronto, Ont.) scored on a slap shot from the high slot at 9:21 to give the 'Cats a 4-2 lead. Wedster set up the go-ahead goal, then Paul and Stephanie Jones (Kimberley, B.C.) registered assists on Garland's tally. Janine Goulet (Gloucester, Ont,) capped the scoring 61 seconds later on a shot from the left point.

UNH goalie Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) finished with 25 saves and Black Bears’ goaltender Lara Smart stopped 27 shots.

Maine survived a 5x3 disadvantage for 1:16 in the first period and took a 1 -0 lead when Karen Droog scored on a rebound in front of the net at 12:26. The Wildcats evened the score, 1-1, just nine seconds later on Wedster’s wrist shot from the right circle. Debbie Bernhard (Acton, Mass.) and Kristen Thomas (Wilmington, Mass.) were credited with assists.

The Black Bears regained the lead, 2-1, at 15:47 of the second period as a UNH turnover in the neutral zone led to a 3-on-none breakaway in which Meagan Aarts scored.

New Hampshire once again had a quick reply at the other end to tie the game, 2-2. Carolyn Gordon (Petrolia, Ont.) controlled a cross-ice pass from Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N,Y.) on the left wing and fired a shot into the goal at 17:59 for her team-leading 16th tally of the season, Paul also set up the goal.

Four minutes into the final frame, Bourdon stopped Meagan Aarts' breakaway bid to preserve the 2-2 tie and spark UNH's offensive flurry.

UNH and Maine conclude the two-game weekend series Feb. 14 (12 p.m.) at Alfond Arena.

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