WOMEN'S HOCKEY ROLLS PAST VERMONT, 8-1

BURLINGTON, Vt. Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec), senior goaltender on the fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, became the NCAA record holder in career victories with her 84th on a six-save effort in UNH’s 8-1 Hockey East win against the University of Vermont at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

            UNH extended its overall unbeaten streak to 11 games (9-0-2) and its Hockey East unbeaten mark to 17 games (15-0-2) to end the regular season at 26-3-2 overall and 18-1-2 in the league. UVM lost its 13th consecutive game to fall to 3-27-2, 1-19-1.

            Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) recorded a season-high four assists to match her career high. Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.; two goals), Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario; goal, assist) and Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.; two assists) also had multiple points for the Wildcats.

            UVM goaltender Shivaun Siegl recorded double digits in saves all three periods (16-13-13) to finish with 42.

            UNH netted three first-period goals to take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. Long netted the first goal of the game at 4:07 and struck again 2:29 later to produce a two-goal advantage. On the first tally, Faber carried the puck into the right corner and passed back to Paton in the circle. Paton’s pass across the slot found Long at the left post and she scored off her own rebound. Faber also set up the next goal, as her pass from the left corner went to the left point, where a shot by Nicole Goguen (Truro, Nova Scotia) was tipped in by Long at 6:36.

            Paton increased UNH’s lead to 3-0 at 10:46. Faber carried the puck deep in the right circle and centered the puck back to Paton, whose shot from the slot sailed inside the right post.

            UVM’s Kate Lesniak scored off a rebound in front at 9:38 of the middle stanza to pull the Catamounts within 3-1. Ashley Keane, with the initial shot from the left circle, and Kristi Anderson were credited with assists. The goal ended New Hampshire’s shutout streak vs. Vermont at 272 minutes, 57 seconds.

            The Wildcats responded on the next shift, however to reestablish a three-goal lead, 4-1, at 10:01 when Wright-Ward’s initial shot from the left circle was stopped by Siegl but Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.) was unmarked near the right post and put the puck into the open net.

            UNH scored goals 1:50 apart late in the stanza to take a 6-1 lead into the second intermission. Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) netted her ninth power-play goal of the season from a scrum in the slot. Wright-Ward, who poked the puck free to Bellamy, set up the tally at 17:05. Shannon Clement (Sault Ste Marie, Ontario) converted a 3-on-1 breakaway into the Wildcats’ sixth goal of the game when she carried the puck from the neutral zone to the right circle and lifted a wrist shot into the upper-right corner. Lindsey Caleo (Clinton Township, Mich.), with the outlet pass, was credited with an assist.

            New Hampshire scored goals 68 seconds apart midway through the final frame to close the scoring. Faber gained possession at mid-ice and skated along the left wing and behind the net before throwing a centering pass into the slot. Maggie Joyce (Norfolk, Mass.) charged into the slot and fired a shot into the net at 11:19. Steph Holmes (Rye, N.Y.) netted an unassisted goal at 12:27 by gathering the puck behind the net and circling through the right circle to the slot to score.

            New Hampshire is the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Women’s Hockey East Championship, which will be held March 3-4 at UNH’s Whittemore Center. Tickets are available now at the box office arena, by calling 1-866-WILDCAT or online at www.unhwildcats.com.

            UNH will face off against fourth-seeded University of Connecticut in a Saturday semifinal game. The Wildcats went 2-0-1 vs. the Huskies this season.

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