Wright-Ward records career-high five points
BOSTON - Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) recorded a personal-best four assists as part of a career-high five points to propel the No. 1-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 11-1 Hockey East victory against Northeastern University at Matthews Arena. It marked the 100th meeting in the series, which UNH leads 64-29-7 with 15 consecutive wins vs. the Huskies.
UNH won its eighth consecutive game to extend its unbeaten streak to 20 games (19-0-1) and improve to 24-2-1 overall, 13-1-1 in Hockey East. UNH's 24 victories ties the third-highest mark in school history established in 1996 and matched in 2000; the next highest total is 27 (2003) and the record is 31 (1998). NU is now 5-22-1, 4-14-1.
Fourteen of 18 Wildcat skaters recorded at least one point and, including Wright-Ward, eight finished with multiple points as UNH netted its highest goal total since Feb. 12, 2000 (12-2 win at Yale). Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) registered four points with two goals and two assists while Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N.Y.), Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) each had a goal and two assists. Both Shannon Clement (Sault Ste Marie, Ontario) and Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) recorded a goal and an assist.
UNH goaltender Brittany Busa (Concord, Mass.) recorded four of her six saves in the first period. NU goalie Marisa Hourihan made double-digit saves every period, including 19 in the second stanza, to finish with 43.
The Wildcats recorded a 15-4 shot advantage in the first period and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) gave the 'Cats a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 8:03 when she scored off a rebound at the top of the crease. Faber started the play with a pass from behind the net to the left circle, where Wright-Ward quickly moved the puck to Garland at the high slot. Garland's low blast was stopped by Hourihan, but Bellamy capitalized on the rebound.
Hekle extended the advantage to 2-0 when she scored on a rebound - again from the top of the crease - at 15:12. Craig, who maneuvered past two defenders in the right circle to the slot to get the initial shot on net, and Hansen set up the tally.
The Wildcats netted five second-period goals, including three in 70 seconds, to break the game open. A series of quick passes produced a 3-0 lead with a power-play goal at 4:15. From the left circle, Wright-Ward passed the puck down low to Faber, who found Hitchcock at the top of the crease for the goal.
NU's Nikki Petrich netted a shorthanded goal on a breakaway at 6:42, but Craig netted goals 54 seconds apart - at 10:24 and 11:18 - to extend the Wildcats' lead to 5-1. Shannon Clement put the 'Cats ahead 6-1 just 16 seconds later and Faber scored at 14:00 to close the second-period scoring.
Hansen, Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland), Wright-Ward and Garland potted third-period goals for the 'Cats. Lindsey Caleo (Clinton Township, Mich.), Amy McLaughlin (Berlin, Mass.) and Diana Saly (Edina, Minn.) each recorded one assist.
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 12 (2 p.m.) at home vs. Providence College. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com/tickets.