Hitchcock, Faber pace 'Cats with three points apiece
BOSTON - Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario), the reigning Hockey East Player of the Week, and Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) recorded three points apiece to propel the second-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 5-1 Hockey East victory against Boston University at Walter Brown Arena.
UNH extended its national-best active unbeaten streak to 10 games with its 10th consecutive victory - the Wildcats' longest win streak since the team won 11 straight in the 1988-89 season - to improve to 15-2-0 overall. The 'Cats are now atop the Hockey East standings with 14 points (7-1-0 league record). BU is now 9-9-3 overall, 4-6-2 HE.
Hitchcock finished with two goals, including the game-winning tally for the second consecutive game, and an assist while Faber tallied a goal and two assists. That duo received support from Shannon Clement (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario), who recorded a goal and an assist, as well as Amy McLaughlin (Berlin, Mass.) and Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.), both of whom registered two assists.
UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) finished with 11 saves. BU goalie Allyse Wilcox stopped 23 shots, including nine in the first period.
The teams skated to a 1-1 tie through one period. UNH took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Faber at 16:29. Clement sent the puck from the right corner behind the net to Hitchcock, who passed the puck to the high slot, where Faber fired a shot into the net.
BU tied the score, 1-1, with 1:52 remaining in the opening stanza when Sarah Russell intercepted a pass at the defensive blue line and moved the puck forward to Gina Kearns, who scored on a breakaway. The goal ended Bourdon's shutout streak at 121 minutes, 19 seconds.
The Wildcats regained the lead, 2-1, on the team's nation-best sixth shorthanded goal of the season, which was netted by Hitchcock at 6:46. McLaughlin played the puck through the neutral zone to Hitchcock, who angled in from the right circle, warded off a defender and tucked the puck into the net.
Clement scored a power-play goal at 2:14 of the third period to extend UNH's advantage to 3-1. McLaughlin's shot from the high slot was stopped by Wilcox but she couldn't control the rebound and, from a scrum at the right post, Clement slapped the puck across the goal line. Hitchcock netted her second of the game at 16:48 on a shot from the high slot and Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N.Y.) capped the scoring with a power-play goal at 19:11. Wright-Ward and Faber were credited with assists on both of those tallies. UNH's penalty kill unit was perfect (5-for-5) for the sixth consecutive game to extend its streak to 21 consecutive kills. The Wildcats' power play went 2-for-3 to mark the ninth time this season the 'Cats have scored multiple power-play goals in a game.
New Hampshire returns to action at home Jan. 11 vs. Harvard University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.