No. 5 UNH women's ice hockey rolls past Niagara, 8-2

Craig leads 'Cat attack with four goals

Leah Craig

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. -- Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) scored a career-high four goals to lead the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 8-2 non-conference victory against Niagara University at Dwyer Arena.

UNH, which also received four-assist efforts from captains Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N.Y.) and Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba), improved to 3-0-0 with the weekend sweep of Niagara (0-2-0).

Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) was one of three other Wildcats to record multiple points with two goals and an assist. Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario), UNH's third captain, finished with a goal and an assist, and Lindsey Caleo (Clinton Township, Mich.) was credited with two assists.

The Wildcats led 3-0 after one period and quickly took a 1-0 lead on Faber's first collegiate goal, which was set up by Caleo, at 4:47. Craig scored consecutive power-play goals at 8:06 and 11:46 to extend the advantage to 3-0.

Taylor Palazeti (Calgary, Alberta) increased the Wildcats' lead to 4-0 at 2:14 of the middle stanza, then Niagara trimmed the deficit to three goals on a Meagan Smith tally 11 seconds later.

The 'Cats regained momentum and reestablished a four-goal cushion, 5-1, at 4:29 when Craig completed her hat trick. Angela Taylor (Foxbar, Paisley, Scotland) netted a power-play goal at 11:17 to give UNH a 6-1 lead. Niagara's Lisa Agazzino scored 59 seconds later to pull within 6-2, but Craig struck again 1:21 before the second intermission to put the Wildcats in front 7-2.

Garland closed the game scoring at 8:36 of the final frame.

UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) finished with 11 saves while NU counterpart Nikki Rudy was credited with 27 saves.

The Wildcats finished with a 35-13 shot advantage and went 3-for-5 on the power play as well as 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. In the two-game weekend series, UNH outshot the Purple Eagles by a 92-23 margin with a 6-for-15 effort on the power play. Niagara did not score a power play in 10 opportunities.

New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 28 at home against Brown University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.

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