DURHAM, N.H. – Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) recorded three assists and Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) tallied two goals to propel the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Thursday night’s 4-2 victory against fifth-ranked Boston College in Hockey East action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH extended its season-best winning streak to five games to improve to 14-5-5 overall and 9-2-3 in Hockey East to jump into a first-place tie with BC. The Eagles, now 0-5-1 in the last six games vs. the Wildcats, are 16-6-3, 10-4-1.
In addition to Faber and Wakefield, Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) had a multiple-point game with two assists. Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) and Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) were UNH’s other goal scorers.
New Hampshire goaltender Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) tied her career high of 36 saves with 15 in the third period and 14 in the second. BC counterpart Molly Schaus, who entered the game with a national-best .946 save percentage, stopped 25 shots.
Wakefield extended her goal-scoring streak to five games – she has scored in 9 of the last 10 – and gave the ‘Cats a 1-0 lead at 14:00 of the first period. Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario) intercepted a pass near the right post and snapped a quick shot on Schaus. Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland), swooping to the top of the crease, then jammed the puck into Schaus and Wakefield reached in from the left doorstep to push the puck across the goal line.
The Wildcats took that one-goal lead into the first intermission and Long extended the advantage to 2-0 at 16:36 of the second period. Paton gained possession near the UNH bench at mid-ice and sent the puck across to a charging Faber. She carried the puck into the zone and centered a pass to Long, who, at the top of the crease, dragged the puck to her backhand and slid a shot into the open right side of the cage.
UNH went on its third power play of the night with 44 seconds remaining in the middle stanza and Wakefield potted her national-leading 11th power-play goal of the season 20 seconds later to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead. Schaus stopped the initial shot from the high slot by Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.), but Paton swept the puck from the right doorstep back to Faber. She quickly sent the puck across the slot and Wakefield blasted a one-timer high into the open left side.
Birchard gave New Hampshire a 4-0 lead at 4:50 of the third period. Faber won a battle for the puck in the left corner and found Birchard at the top of the left circle. She then beat Schaus with a low shot to the near side.
The Eagles netted power-play goals at 7:07 and 15:00 to pull within two goals. Allie Thunstrom, positioned at the left post, scored a 5-on-3 goal when she redirected Kelli Stack’s pass from the slot into the net. Maggie Taverna, with the pass from the left point to Stack, was also credited with an assist. Andrea Green scored with five minutes to play off a flurry of shots. Herman stopped Katelyn Kurth’s initial shot from the left point, but Becky Zavisza corralled the rebound deep on the left side and moved the puck for Shannon Webster’s shot at the left doorstep. Herman denied Webster, but the rebound went to the top of the crease and Green scored into the open net.
Wakefield now has 50 career goals in 55 games, while Faber has 99 career assists and is on the verge of becoming the fourth UNH Wildcat to reach the 100-assist milestone.
New Hampshire and Boston College conclude the home-and-home series Jan. 30 (7 p.m.) at Conte Forum. The Wildcats’ next home game is Feb. 14 (7 p.m.) against Providence College.