No. 3 UNH women's hockey shuts down No. 9 Harvard, 3-0

Craig leads Wildcats with two goals, assist

Leah Craig

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) recorded two goals and an assist to propel the third-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 3-0 non-conference victory against ninth-ranked Harvard University at Bright Hockey Center.

UNH extended its winning streak to seven games to improve to 12-2-0 overall. Harvard, which had won five consecutive home games in the series dating back to the 1998-99 season, is now 7-5-2.

Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) recorded 16 saves to become the first goaltender to shut out the Crimson at Bright Hockey Center since the 2001-02 season. It is her fourth shutout of the season and 15th of her career, which ranks third on UNH's list of superlatives.

Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.; 1g, 1a) and Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario; 2a) also had multiple points for the Wildcats.

The 'Cats took a 1-0 lead through one period of play on Craig's power-play goal with 19 seconds remaining in the opening stanza. Wright-Ward and Hitchcock were credited with assists on the goal, which was scored on a scrum at the top of the crease.

UNH, which recorded a 10-3 shot advantage in the first period, continued to carry play in the second period to extend its shot advantage to 23-9 and the lead to 3-0. Craig netted her second of the game - and team-leading 12th of the season -- at 11:27 of the middle stanza when her shot from the top of the crease deflected off Harvard goalie Ali Boe (27 saves) across the goal line. Shannon Clement (Sault Ste Marie, Ontario), with a pass from behind the net, and Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N.Y.), who won the puck in the left corner, set up the tally.

Wright-Ward netted UNH's second power-play goal of the game to extend the lead to 3-0 at 13:38. Craig cut through the slot towards the right post, pulling Boe in that direction, then centered back to Wright-Ward, who shot the puck into the open left side of the net. Hitchcock made the initial pass to Craig to assist on the play.

UNH controlled play through most of the scoreless final frame, but the shots were even at 7-7.

Bourdon was challenged late in the second period when Jennifer Raimondi moved in from the right half-boards on a breakaway, but Bourdon stood her ground at the near post to stop the shot. Bourdon also denied both Carrie Schroyer and Jennifer Sifers fron point-blank range on a Harvard power play early in the third period.

New Hampshire breaks for exams and the holidays until Jan. 1, 2006 (2 p.m.) at Dartmouth College. The next Wildcats' home game is Jan. 4 vs. Colgate. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.

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