DURHAM, N.H. – Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) scored her 16th goal of the season and Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) recorded 18 saves as the No. 1 University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team skated to a 1-1 tie against Providence College in Saturday afternoon’s Hockey East action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH extended its unbeaten streak to six games (5-0-1) to improve to 20-3-1 overall and 10-0-1 in Hockey East. The Wildcats are now 27-0-3 in the last 30 games vs. league opponents. Providence, led by Danielle Ciarletta’s 27-save performance and Danielle Tangredi’s first-period goal that gave the Friars a short-lived 1-0 lead, is 9-9-3, 4-2-2.
PC took a 1-0 lead at 15:05 when she collected a pass from Sarah Feldman in the slot and scored. The Wildcats went on the first power play of the game at 17:34 and scored just 15 seconds later to tie the score, 1-1, at 17:49. Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) initiated the scoring sequence with a pass from the high slot to Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) in the left circle. She moved the puck down low to Wright-Ward, who jammed the puck into the net at the left doorstep.
Providence took a 9-8 shot advantage into the first intermission, but three of the shots were from the neutral zone.
The majority of possession in the second period favored UNH – which generated an 8-3 edge in shots in the middle stanza -- but the Friars limited the number of quality scoring chances. The best Wildcat opportunities came in the 15th minute, when Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) charged down the slot. Ciarletta stopped Hitchcock’s initial shot, but the rebound caromed to Wright-Ward in the slot and she fired a shot just wide right of the cage. Moments later, Herman caught the Friars in a line change with a long outlet pass to Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) along the right dashers. She sliced in from the circle behind the defense but Ciarletta blocked aside the wrist shot.
Midway through the third period, Providence generated a 2-on-1 rush in which Jean O’Neill carried the puck into the left circle and centered the puck to Mari Pehkonen, whose shot back towards the left post was knocked away by Herman.
In the closing minutes of regulation, Steph Holmes (Rye, N.Y.) charged down the slot and blasted a shot that Ciarletta blocked to the left circle. Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland) gathered the puck and quickly fired a shot, but Ciarletta once again turned away the Wildcats and her defense cleared the puck out of the crease.
UNH pressured in the five-minute overtime session and recorded a 3-1 shot advantage to finish with a 28-19 edge overall.
The Wildcats went 1-for-2 on the power play and were perfect (1-for-1) on the penalty kill to extend that streak to 32 consecutive kills.
New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 26 (2 p.m.) at home against Northeastern University. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com and the game will be videostreamed online at UNHwildcats.tv.