DURHAM, N.H. – Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) and Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) both recorded a goal and an assist to propel the fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 non-conference victory against sixth-ranked St. Lawrence University at the Whittemore Center.
UNH remains unbeaten this season at 3-0-2 and is 1-0-2 vs. nationally-ranked teams. SLU is now 1-1-1, all on the road against Hockey East competition.
Bellamy ignited the Wildcats’ comeback with an unassisted shorthanded goal at 8:07 of the second period. She carried the puck the length of the ice and, from the left circle, wristed a low shot inside the far post to tie the score, 1-1.
UNH took a 2-1 lead at 14:33 of the second stanza on a series of quick passes. Maggie Joyce (Hudson, Ohio), with her second assist in as many games, moved the puck from blue line to blue line, where Paton chipped the puck to the open right side for the oncoming Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario). Paton continued down the slot, received a return pass from Birchard, sidestepped a defender to the right and fired a high shot into the net.
St. Lawrence had a 5x3 power play for 20 seconds late in the second, but UNH’s stout penalty kill unit kept the Saints at bay – and was a perfect 8-for-8 in the game – to preserve the one-goal advantage.
In the eighth minute of the third period, Birchard nearly scored when her initial backhander from the slot – with her back to the net – caromed off the right post. The rebound went directly to her stick, and a second shot sailed wide left of the cage.
Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) netted her third power-play goal of the season at 9:10 to give the ‘Cats a 3-1 lead. With one SLU skater already in the penalty box, UNH goalie Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) exited the ice on a delayed penalty call against the Saints to give UNH a two-skater advantage. Wakefield, on a long outlet pass from Bellamy, drove down the slot and blasted a shot into the net. Paton was also credited with an assist.
Two minutes later, Herman stoned Carson Duggan at the left doorstep in a 3-on-2 rush for the Saints.
SLU went on the power play with 3:59 remaining in regulation and pulled goalie Brittony Chartier 59 seconds later to gain a two-skater advantage. Moments later, Herman stopped Britni Smith’s shot from the right point and then turned aside Duggon off the rebound from point-blank range.
The Saints continued to pressure, however, and pulled within 3-2 at 18:05 – just four seconds after the power play expired but with Chartier still on the bench. Brittaney Maschmeyer, off Tara Akstull’s pass from the left corner, fired a low shot from the left point through traffic inside the near post.
Chartier returned to the net and was pulled again with 1:30 on the clock. With 22 seconds to go, Herman denied both Karell Emard and Vanessa Emond deep on the right side.
Birchard won the ensuing faceoff back to Joyce, who cleared the puck out of the zone to secure the victory.
Herman finished with a season-high 25 saves, including 11 in the second stanza. Chartier made 10 of her 21 saves in the first period.
UNH controlled play in the opening 10 minutes of the game, but St. Lawrence began to wrest control away and took a 1-0 lead at 12:37 when Emma Clark, alone in the low slot, redirected Emond’s centering pass from the left circle into the open net.
The Saints continued to gain momentum, but Herman denied Smith’s wirster through traffic from the left point, then turned her away again – as well as Alison Domenico in the slot off the rebound – in the closing minute with SLU on the power play.
The visitors continued to carry play early in the second period, but Bellamy’s shorthanded tally turned things back in favor of the Wildcats.
With the two-point performance, Bellamy ascended into a tie for ninth place on the program’s all-time scoring list for defenseman with Shawna Davidson and Nicki Luongo at 84 points (22g, 62a).
New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 19 (12 p.m.) at home against Clarkson University.