PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N.Y.) and Stephanie Jones (Kimberley, B.C.) both recorded two goals and an assist to lead the ninth-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 7-4 Hockey East victory against Providence College at Schneider Arena.
UNH extended its unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1) to improve to 18-8-4 overall and 13-1-2 in Hockey East. Providence, which had its eight-game winning streak come to an end, is now 15-12-2, 10-4-1. The first-place Wildcats secured one of the top-two seeds in the Hockey East Championships with the victory and can win the regular-season title when the teams face off again Feb. 29 (2 p.m.) at UNH's Whittemore Center.
The Wildcats held a 4-2 lead at the start of the third period, but PC's Kristen Porter trimmed the deficit to one goal, 4-3, at 2:42 of the final frame. Hansen (two goals, assist), with the assistance of Rebecca Paul (Sudbury, Ontario; three assists), responded with a Wildcat goal one minute later to reestablish a two-goal cushion, 5-3.
Providence again pulled within one, 5-4, on a Hilary Greaves power-play goal at 7:42. UNH once again had an immediate reply, however, as Jones, with the help of Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) and Allison Edgar (Petrolia, Ontario; two assists), netted her second goal of the game 31 seconds later.
Hansen secured the victory by scoring an empty-net goal with 48 seconds remaining.
UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) recorded 27 saves and PC goalie Jana Bugden stopped 35 shots, including 18 in the second period. The Wildcats finished with a 42-31 shot advantage that included a 12-4 edge in the final frame.
Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.) gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead with tallies at 4:45 and 19:54 of the first period.
Providence rallied to tie the game, 2-2, in the opening minute of the second period when Kelli Halcisak and Sonny Watrous scored at :11 and :43, respectively. Jones put New Hampshire back in front, 3-2, at 1:18 as the teams combined for three goals in a span of 67 seconds. Janine Goulet (Gloucester, Ontario) and Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) were credited with assists.
Carolyn Gordon (Petrolia, Ontario), with the help of Hansen and Paul, extended UNH's lead to 4-2 at 10:13 of the middle stanza.