Garland leads ‘Cats to Women’s Frozen Four with game-winning goal
DURHAM, N.H. - Sophomores Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) and Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) each earned a goal and an assist to lead the No. 1-ranked and top-seeded University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to a 3-1 victory against eighth-ranked Harvard University in a 2006 NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Championship regional game at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, in its first NCAA championship tourney, advances to play the winner of the University of Minnesota vs. Princeton University regional in a March 24 Women's Frozen Four semifinal game at Minnesota's Mariucci Arena.
UNH, which received the Hockey East automatic berth by winning the league tournament, extended its NCAA single-season record unbeaten streak to 29 games (28-0-1) and tied the NCAA-record win streak of 17 games to improve to 33-2-1 overall. Harvard, the ECAC automatic qualifier by virtue of its league tourney title, ends the season at 18-13-4. The Crimson finished as national runner-up each of the past three seasons.
The Wildcats built a 2-0 first-period lead on goals 2:28 apart by Hitchcock and Garland. Hitchcock opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 11:42 when she was stationed at the top of the crease and redirected Garland's shot from the high slot into the net. Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) was also credited with an assist.
Garland extended the advantage to 2-0 at 14:10 with a shot from the high slot that sailed into the upper-left corner of the net. Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), with the pass to Garland, and Hitchcock set up the tally.
UNH netted its second power-play goal of the game in as many opportunities at 9:48 of the second stanza to build a 3-0 advantage. The initial shot by Amy McLaughlin (Berlin, Mass.) was blocked in front by a Harvard defenseman but the puck caromed to Maggie Joyce (Norfolk, Mass.), who fired a shot into the open left side of the net. Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.), with a pass to McLaughlin at the high slot, set up the goal.
The Wildcats kept pressuring Harvard goaltender Ali Boe, finishing the game with 38 shots on goal. Boe made 35 saves, including 14 in the third period as UNH peppered the net with shots from close range, especially early in the final frame.
The Crimson broke into the scoring column with 21 seconds left in the game as Sarah Wilson received a long-distance pass from Jennifer Raimondi and slipped the puck past UNH goalie Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) for a power-play goal. Harvard's goal snapped UNH's shutout streak at six consecutive games and 461:58 overall. Bourdon, who entered the NCAAs with four consecutive shutouts, finished the game with 16 saves and her record shutout streak ended at 341:49.