PATON'S HAT TRICK PROPELS #7 WOMEN'S HOCKEY PAST #5 BC, 5-2

KELLY PATON

BOX SCORE

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass.Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) recorded her first career hat trick and Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) made a career-high 25 saves to lead the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Friday night’s 5-2 victory against fifth-ranked Boston College in Hockey East action at Conte Forum.


UNH completed the home-and-home series sweep of  BC – the Wildcats were 4-2 victors Thursday night – to extend its season-best winning streak to six games and improve to 15-5-5 overall. The ‘Cats also gained sole possession of first place in the Hockey East standings with a 10-2-3 record. BC, winless (0-6-1) in the last seven games versus New Hampshire, is now 16-7-3, 10-5-1.


Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) tallied two assists and she became the fourth UNH Wildcat to reach the 100-assist milestone on the first goal of the game. Faber now has 76 goals and 101 assists for 177 points in 133 career games; those numbers rank 13th in goals, fourth in assists and seventh in points.


Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.; goal, two assists) and Maggie Joyce (Hudson, Ohio; goal, assist) also tallied multiple points for the ‘Cats. Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) and Raylen Dziengelewski (Southwick, Mass.) each had one assist.


BC starting goalie Molly Schaus (six saves) exited the game after the first period with the Eagles trailing 4-1. Kiera Kingston stopped 14 of 15 shots in the final 40 minutes.


The ‘Cats built a 3-0 lead and took a 4-1 advantage into the first intermission. Paton scored the first of her two first-period goals at 5:11 when Faber gathered a loose puck in the neutral zone and sent a pass ahead to Paton, whose high wrister from the slot beat Schaus to the glove side.


In the 12th minute, a Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) outlet pass through the neutral zone sprung Faber on a breakaway. Faber was foiled at the right post and Schaus snared the rebound out of the air.

Joyce’s power-play goal at 14:26 gave UNH a 2-0 lead. Schaus stopped the initial shot from the high slot by Dziengelewski, but Long corralled the puck in the low slot and pushed it to Joyce for the goal.


Paton, off a pass from Long, extended the advantage to 3-0 14:53. BC pulled within two goals at 18:53 on Meghan Fardelmann’s strike, but UNH reestablished a three-goal cushion 27 seconds later when Long, off a pass from Bellamy, scored from close range.


Following a scoreless second stanza, BC had a pair of dangerous scoring chances foiled by Minton early in the final frame. A UNH turnover deep in the defensive zone gave Colleen Harris possession of the puck at the left post, but Minton stopped the shot from point-blank range. Moments later, Allie Thunstrom had a rush down the left wing and had a shot turned aside by Minton’s leg pads.


The Eagles trimmed the deficit to 4-2 at 4:38 off a flurry of shots. Minton stopped Katelyn Kurth’s initial shot from the right doorstep as well as Lauren Wiedmeier’s shot from the top of the crease, but Danielle Welch scored from the scrum in front of the cage.


Paton completed the scoring and her hat trick with a shorthanded goal at 17:52. Faber patiently held the puck in the defensive zone and lofted a backhander into the neutral zone. Paton skated to open ice for the breakaway opportunity, charged down the slot and placed a shot between Kingston’s leg pads. Joyce was also credited with an assist.


New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 7 (2 p.m.) at the University of Vermont. The Wildcats’ next home game is Feb. 14 (7 p.m.) against Providence College.

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