Garland ties career high of three assists
DURHAM, N.H. - Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) sparked the Wildcats' four-goal second period with three assists and led the second-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Sunday afternoon's 7-2 Hockey East victory against 10th-ranked Providence College at the Whittemore Center.
UNH won its fifth consecutive game to extend its unbeaten streak to 17 games (16-0-1) and improve to 21-2-1 overall, 10-1-1 in Hockey East. The Wildcats also won for the 11th straight time at home and extended that unbeaten mark to 18 games (15-0-3). PC is now 13-8-4, 7-3-2.
In addition to Garland, who matched her career high of three assists, four Wildcats recorded multiple-point games. Shannon Clement (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario), Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) and Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) all finished with a goal and an assist while Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) was credited with two assists.
UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) finished with 18 saves, including eight in the second period. PC starting goalie Jana Bugden stopped 28 of 34 shots and was pulled when the 'Cats took a 6-1 lead at 4:03 of the third period. Stacey Scott played the final 15:57 and made nine saves. Karen Thatcher (1g, 1a) and Ashley Payton (2a) led the Friars' offense.
The Wildcats trailed 1-0 entering the second period but Wright-Ward extended her goal-scoring streak to four games and point-scoring streak to 12 by tying the score, 1-1 on a power-play goal at 7:02. Garland's initial shot was stopped by Bugden, but Craig controlled the rebound in the right circle and made a cross-ice pass to Wright-Ward. Bugden denied the first low shot but Wright-Ward shot the rebound under the crossbar.
UNH then surged ahead 4-1 with three goals in a span of 5:06. Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) ignited the spurt when she scored into an open net at 14:32. And the reason the net was open was that Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N.Y.) intercepted Bugden's clearing attempt up the boards and centered the puck to Hekle. Clement extended New Hampshire's lead to 3-1 at 16:53 when, standing in the slot, she redirected Garland's shot from the right point into the net. Diana Saly (Edina, Minn.) was also credited with an assist. Amy McLaughlin (Berlin, Mass.) upped the advantage to 4-1 on a power-play goal at 19:38. Garland's shot from the right point was blocked, but McLaughlin corralled the puck in the right circle, shifted to the slot and lifted a shot into the upper-right corner.
The Wildcats quickly extended the lead to 7-1 in the third period. Craig scored on a penalty shot at 3:07 when she cut to the low slot from the right circle, waited for Bugden to go down and then lifted a shot that caromed off the crossbar and across the goal line. Lindsey Caleo (Clinton Township, Mich.) scored 56 seconds later into an open net from the top of the crease off passes from Clement and Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.)
Bugden exited at that point, but the 'Cats continued to press and Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) scored off a rebound from Hitchcock's initial shot at 4:52 -- just 49 seconds after Scott entered.
PC's Erin Normore scored a power-play goal at 9:31 to close the scoring. From the right corner, Thatcher centered the puck to Normore in the slot and she shot the puck into the net.
In the first period, Thatcher scored the only goal of the period at 15:44. Bourdon stopped shots by Payton at the left post and Watrous in front before Thatcher, alone at the right post, poked the puck in.
New Hampshire and Providence face off again Feb. 1 (7 p.m.) at Schneider Arena. The next Wildcat home game is Feb. 12 vs. Providence. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 2 p.m. and tickets may be purchased online at www.unhwildcats.com/tickets.