DURHAM, N.H. – Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) stopped all 22 shots she faced in her first career start and Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) potted two goals to propel the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Tuesday night’s 3-0 victory in Hockey East action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH extended its unbeaten streak to three games (1-0-2) to improve to 9-4-5 overall and 5-1-3 in Hockey East. Northeastern, which has lost five of its last six games, is now 7-6-2, 4-4-0.
Minton made nine of her 22 saves in the second period and she held NU scoreless on seven power-play opportunities that included a total of 3 minutes, 31 seconds in which the Huskies had a 5x3 skater advantage.
NU goalie Florence Schelling finished with 21 saves.
Wakefield potted a goal in each of the first two periods to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead at the second intermission. She struck at 11:23 of the opening frame when she droved down the slot to collect a centering pass and lifted a close-range backhanded shot into the upper shelf. Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario), with the outlet pass through the neutral zone, and Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland), who feathered the pass from the right circle to the slot, set up the tally.
NU began the first power play of the game at 7:50 of the middle stanza, but Wakefield potted her second shortanded goal of the season – UNH’s seventh this year – on a breakaway at 8:28. Taylor’s attempted outlet pass from the defensive blue line was intercepted by a NU skater in the neutral zone, but Wakefield pokechecked the puck to gain possession at center ice. She skated down the slot and, after a few stickhandling moves, pulled the puck to the left and shot the puck into the upper-left corner.
In the third period, New Hampshire needed just 29 seconds to extend the advantage to 3-0. Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), who had a shot clang off the right post in the 14th minute of the second stanza, gained possession in the neutral zone and moved the puck to Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario), who entered the offensive zone at the high slot. Paton quickly passed the puck to Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) on the left side and her shot sailed into the upper-left corner of the net.
UNH was whistled for penalties at 2:45 and 3:13 to give the visitors a two-skater power play for 92 seconds. Minton denied Erin Reil’s redirection in front and, as the second penalty expired, Katy Applin’s bouncing shot through traffic from the right point.
Minutes later, the duo of Faber and Long combined to nearly give the ‘Cats another goal. Faber feathered a pass to the slot and Long’s quick wrist shot went into Schelling’s led pads.
The Wildcats were whistled for penalties at 11:12 and 11:33, but the penalty kill unit yielded just one shot on goal in that span.
In the opening period, UNH generated the first dangerous scoring chance with a 3-on-1 rush in at 7:30. Wakefield carried from the left circle and across the low slot before being denied by Schelling’s left leg pad at the right post. One minute later, Paton stole the puck on a forecheck at the left point, drove to the net and was stopped by Schelling.
With 90 seconds remaining in the stanza, NU created a 2-on-2 rush in which Ali Bielawski’s redirection in the slot was turned aside by Minton’s extended left leg pad.
Early in the second period, a UNH turnover deep in the defensive zone led to Lindsay Berman’s shot from the low slot, but Minton quickly moved off the right post to the top of the crease to make the save. In the seventh minute, Minton proved up the challenge again on Annie Hogan’s low shot emerged from a crowd in front of the net.
Since the 2004 season, Minton is the third UNH goalie to record a shutout in her first career start. Melissa Bourdon blanked Princeton University on the road Nov. 15, 2003 with a 28-save effort (3-0 UNH win) and Lucy Schoedel held Bemidji State scoreless with a 20-save performance Oct. 6, 2006 (7-0 win at the University of Minnesota’s Ridder Arena). Those games marked the collegiate debuts for both of those goalies, whereas this game marked Minton’s third career appearance.
UNH has won 23 consecutive games in the series against Northeastern with 13 wins by shutout, including both this season. The ‘Cats prevailed 2-0 on Nov. 26 at the Whittemore Center.
The Wildcats are unbeaten at home this year (6-0-3) and have a 22-game home unbeaten streak (18-0-4) dating back to last season. UNH is a staggering 55-0-9 in Hockey East regular-season games since the inception of the league in the 2003 season.
New Hampshire concludes the 2008 portion of its schedule Dec. 12 at ninth-ranked Harvard University. Game time is 7 p.m.