#2 WOMEN'S HOCKEY ROLLS PAST #9 UCONN, 6-2

BOXSCORE

STORRS, Conn.
Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) both scored two goals to lead the second-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s 6-2 Hockey East victory against ninth-ranked University of Connecticut at Mark E. Freitas Ice Forum.
   UNH, which had been idle since Dec. 10, extended its unbeaten streak to four games (2-0-2) to improve to 15-2-3 overall and 7-1-0 Hockey East to climb within one point of first-place UConn. The Huskies, who have played three more league games than the Wildcats, lost their fourth consecutive game to fall to 11-8-1, 7-3-1.
   Including Hekle and Craig, seven Wildcats recorded multiple points. Lindsey Caleo (Clinton Township, Mich.) matched her personal bests in both assists and points with three points, all on assists. Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.), Shannon Clement (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) and Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.) each had two assists and Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) finished with a goal and assist.
  
UNH took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on a goal by Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland), her seventh tally in the last nine games, at 5:14. Faber initiated the scoring sequence with a pass out of the right corner to Wedster at the near point. Taylor, positioned in the slot, redirected Wedster’s shot into the upper-right corner of the net.
  
The Wildcats netted two second-period goals to extend their advantage to 3-0. Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) carried the puck into the high slot and passed off to Faber, whose shot from deep in the left circle beat UConn goalie Brittany Wilson at 8:22 for her 12th goal of the season. Bellamy, with an outlet pass through the neutral zone, was also credited with an assist.
   Craig, with the assistance of Caleo and Clement, gave the ‘Cats a 3-0 lead with 52 seconds remaining in the middle stanza when she scored from the left circle on a shot into the upper-left corner.
   The ‘Cats struck three more times in the third period before UConn potted a pair of 5-on-3 power-play goals to close the scoring. Clement’s initial shot from the low slot was stopped by Wilson, but Craig poked the loose puck across the goal line to push the lead to 4-0 at 2:26. Hekle also scored into an open net off a rebound – this time off a shot from Steph Holmes (Rye, N.Y.) from the right point – at 5:57. Wedster made the outlet pass in the neutral zone to earn her second assist of the game. Hekle extended the advantage to 6-0 at 8:41 when, standing in the slot, she redirected Bellamy’s shot from the left point inside the right post. Caleo tallied her third assist on the play.
   Jaclyn Hawkins redirected  K Van Deveire’s shot from the right circle inside the far post at 13:01, then Amy Hollstein scored on a rebound from a scrum in front at 14:11.
   UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) finished with 16 saves. Wilson stopped 32 shots, including 17 in the first period.
   New Hampshire
returns to action for a two-game home series vs. the University of Maine on Jan. 12-13 at the Whittemore Center. Friday’s game begins at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m.
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