Leah Craig notches two goals, assist in convincing win
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. -- Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) scored two goals and added an assist to lead the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Friday night's 6-0 non-conference victory against Niagara University at Dwyer Arena.
UNH improved to 2-0-0 and this was the season opener for Niagara.
The Wildcats took advantage of an early power play opportunity, as Jessica Zerafa (Mississauga, Ontario) scored 3:15 into the game off assists from Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) and Angela Taylor (Foxbar, Paisley, Scotland). Just over ten minutes later, on another Wildcat power play, Taylor notched her second assist of the game as she and Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) fed Wright-Ward for her second goal of the season at the 13:58 mark of the first period.
UNH kept pressuring the Niagara defense, and it paid off at 15:13 of the first period when Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N.Y.) scored her first goal of the season thanks to assists from Zerafa and Lindsey Caleo (Clinton Township, Mich.). Craig picked up her first goal of the night on the Wildcats' third power play of the first period at 17:28, with Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) picking up the assist.
The score stayed 4-0 until 11:37 of the second period when Craig and Hekle set up Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) for her first goal of the season. With UNH shorthanded, Craig scored the Wildcats' sixth and final goal of the game with 55 seconds left in the second period.
The Wildcats dominated the game, outshooting the Purple Eagles 57-10 and winning twice as many faceoffs as the hosts (46-23). Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) earned the shutout with ten saves, while Niagara's Allison Rutledge stopped 51 Wildcat shots, including all 26 UNH shots in the third period.
New Hampshire concludes the two-game series at Niagara on Oct. 22 (2 p.m.). The next Wildcat home game is Oct. 28 vs. Brown University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.