Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario),
Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario),
Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) and
Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) recorded two
points apiece to lead the third-ranked University of New Hampshire
women’s ice hockey team to Friday night’s 4-3 victory
against eighth-ranked Boston University in Hockey East action at
Walter Brown Arena.
UNH won its third consecutive game to improve to 8-1-2 overall and 4-0-0-0 in Hockey East. BU lost for the second time in as many games this week to fall to 3-3-4, 1-2-0-0.
Birchard, Lavoie and Paton all tallied a goal and an assist – the goal was the 50th of Paton’s career -- while Long finished with two assists. UNH goaltender Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) finished with 20 saves, including eight in the second period.
BU’s Melissa Anderson, Jonnie Bloemers and Jill Cardella each tallied two points and goalie Melissa Haber stopped 28 shots, including 13 in the middle stanza.
Neither team generated much offensive pressure in the opening 10 minutes of the game, then BU generated a flurry in which Minton denied Bloemers’ shot from the right circle and Cardella’s bid off the rebound in front. Tara Watchorn kept the puck in the zone at the left point, and her blast was also turned aside by Minton. Cardella corralled the rebound, however, and curled behind the net to the right post, where her wraparound attempt was stuffed by Minton.
The Terriers took a 1-0 lead at 14:27. Bloemers moved the puck from the right boards to Anderson in the right corner. She centered a pass to the top of the crease, where Cardella redirected a shot between Minton’s leg pads.
UNH recorded just two shots in the opening 16 minutes, but began to generate pressure on its first power play of the game at 16:42. The Wildcats sustained possession in the offensive zone and tallied four shots to gain momentum.
The ‘Cats turned that momentum into a game-tying goal at 19:22. Birchard carried the puck into the right circle and fired a shot that was stopped by BU netminder Melissa Haber. Lavoie, fending off a defender at the right doorstep, pushed the puck across the crease and Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario) deposited a shot into the open left side of the net.
In the opening minutes of the second stanza, UNH went on its second power play. The Wildcats once again sustained pressure but did not score. Moments after its penalty kill, BU generated a 2-on-1 rush in which Jillian Kirchner, off a cross-ice pass, was stoned by Minton, who slid across the crease to the left post.
New Hampshire took a 2-1 lead on a power-play goal at 5:25. Courtney Sheary (Melrose, Mass.) slid a pass across the high slot to the right point, where Raylen Dziengelewski (Southwick, Mass.) fired a slap shot into Haber. The rebound ricocheted to the top of the crease and caromed off Paige Goloubef (Oakville, Ontario) towards the right post, and Lavoie lifted the puck into the open right side.
BU rallied to tie the score, 2-2, at 7:51 when Bloemers snapped a wrist shot from the right circle inside the far post. Cardella, with a pass across the slot to Bloemers, and Anderson were credited with assists.
With 7:30 remaining in the second stanza, Birchard nearly put the ‘Cats back in front, but her hard drive from the left point was snared by Haber’s glove. Three minutes later with UNH on the power play, Paton carried the puck the length of the ice and maneuvered to the low slot before firing a shot that was stopped by Haber, who also denied Kelly Cahill (Farmington Hills, Mich.) off the rebound at the right post.
The Wildcats did regain the lead, 3-2, with their second power-play goal of the period. Paton dropped the puck for Long in the left circle, and she moved the puck to Birchard at the high slot. Birchard’s shot sailed through traffic inside the right post at 16:22.
With 1:30 to play in the second period, Paton’s poke check in the defensive zone created a shorthanded breakaway. She carried the puck down the slot and pulled the puck to her forehand, but her close-range shot was blocked by Haber.
In the opening minute of the third period, Minton denied Kirchner at the right post and Jenelle Kohanchuk off the rebound in front.
The Wildcats extended their advantage to 4-2 at 9:47. Paton initiated the sequence on the right wing with a pass behind the net to Long, who in turn passed the puck to Kailey Chappell (Pickering, Ontario). Chappell’s shot from the left point was redirected into the net by Paton for her 50th career goal.
BU pulled within 4-3 on a power-play goal at 13:54. Kohanchuk corralled a loose puck in the slot and lifted a shot under the crossbar.
With 2:30 remaining, BU’s Holly Lorms was denied at the left doorstep. Paton won the ensuing faceoff and the Wildcats kept possession in the offensive zone for the next minute.
The Terriers called time out at 18:33 and lifted Haber in favor of an extra skater with 54 seconds on the clock. BU finally entered the offensive zone with 36 seconds to play, but UNH quickly regained possession and cleared the puck out of the zone.
With 22.8 to go, Long won a faceoff in her defensive zone. Birchard then cleared the puck around the boards into the neutral zone, and Paton dumped the puck the rest of the way. UNH did not allow the Terriers through the neutral zone to secure the victory.
New Hampshire and BU conclude the weekend home-and-home series Nov. 7 (7 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center. The game is part of UNH’s weekend-long Wildcat Food Drive, and as such food and cash donations will be collected at the arena.