BOSTON -- The top-seeded University of New Hampshire and second-seeded Providence College battle to a scoreless tie through two periods in Sunday afternoon's Women's Hockey East Championships title game at Northeastern University's Matthews Arena, but Providence netted three goals in the third period to record a 3-0 victory.
UNH, which entered the game with the nation's longest winning streak (eight games) and unbeaten streak (11 games; 10-0-1), ends the season at 23-9-4. Providence, which had lost three of four regular-season meetings vs. the Wildcats, is 21-13-2.
Kelli Halcisak, who was named Tournament MVP for the second straight year, poked the puck past UNH freshman goaltender Melissa Bourdon at 11:17 after she got the rebound in front of the net from senior Darlene Stephenson's wrist shot from the top of the right circle.
The goal ended 51 minutes of end-to-end scoreless action that saw each team go unsuccessful on its power plays. UNH was 0-for-4, while Providence was 0-for-2.
With UNH pressing to net the game-tying goal, PC's Karen Thatcher scored on a breakaway at 18:30 when she beat Bourdon with a backhander to the glove side. Rush Zimmerman netted an empty-net goal to cap the scoring with 40 seconds left in the game.
Bourdon (30 saves) and Friar goalie Jana Bugden were both stellar throughout the game, but it was Bugden who was perfect with 24 saves for her fourth shutout of the season.
Senior defenseman Allison Edgar (Brigden, Ontario) and freshman forward Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) were selected to the Hockey East All-Tournament Team.
This was UNH's 14th appearance in a conference tournament championship game. The Wildcats have been runner-up in both years of the Hockey East Championships.