#4 WOMEN'S ICE HOCKEY SKATES TO 1-1 TIE AT HARVARD

LINDSEY MINTON

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) recorded a season-high 27 saves and Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) scored a shorthanded goal to lead the fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Wednesday night’s 1-1 tie against Harvard University at Bright Hockey Center.

UNH extended its unbeaten streak to six games (3-0-3) to move to 8-1-4 overall, while Harvard is now 3-3-1. Each of the last three games ¬– and four of the last five meetings – in this series have gone into overtime; UNH prevailed 3-2 last year at Harvard and the teams skated to a 1-1 tie last December at the Whittemore Center. The Wildcats are now 6-0-3 in the last nine games vs. the Crimson.

Minton made 10 saves in the third period and two in the overtime as she kept the Crimson scoreless for the final 59:39 of the game. HU goalie Christina Kessler finished with 24 saves, including two in the five-minute extra session.

Harvard recorded a 10-6 shot advantage and 1-0 lead in the first period. Katharine Chute intercepted a pass in the offensive zone, skated in from the left circle towards the net in a 2-on-the goalie rush. She kept the puck and wristed a shot into the upper-right corner of the net for the game’s first goal at 5:21.

UNH netted the only goal of the second stanza with a 10-6 edge in shots. The Crimson opened the period with 48 seconds remaining on a power play, but the Wildcats potted their first shorthanded goal of the season at 41 seconds to level the score, 1-1. Long fought for possession of the puck behind the net and circled around the right post to the top of the crease and, while fending off a pair of Harvard skaters, fired a backhander that eluded Kessler.

The ‘Cats continued to pressure and went on the power play at 1:44. In the opening seconds, a slap shot by Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) from the right point was redirected by Long at the near post, but Kessler was in position to block aside the shot. UNH cycled the puck to the left circle, where Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) wristed a shot that caromed off the crossbar. Moments later, another Birchard slap shot from the right point was snared by Kessler’s glove.

In the fifth minute, Raylen Dziengelewski (Southwick, Mass.) made a tape-to-tape pass from the defensive zone that sent Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) on a rush up the slot. From the hashmarks, Horn snapped a shot just high of the upper-right corner of the cage.

One of Harvard’s most dangerous scoring opportunities in the second period occurred midway through the frame, when Anna McDonald’s shot from the left circle caromed off the right post.

UNH established offensive pressure in the closing minutes of the middle stanza as Kessler turned aside a flurry created by Paton, Paige Goloubef (Oakville, Ontario) and Molly Morrison (South Burlington, Vt.).

In the scoreless third period, UNH’s best pressure came in the last four minutes as sustained pressure led to a Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario) shot off a rebound at the left post, but Kessler enveloped that shot. The Wildcats went on the power play with 1:35 remaining in regulation and Kessler twice denied Horn at the left post in the last minute.

The ‘Cats carried the power play for 25 seconds into the overtime session, but could not generate pressure. Harvard went on its fifth power play of the night at 3:31, but UNH’s penalty kill prevented the Crimson from generating an attack the rest of the way.

UNH is 0-0-4 in four overtime games this season, and the Wildcats are unbeaten in their last 21 overtime games (5-0-16) dating back to the 2006 season.

New Hampshire returns to action at home Nov. 21 (5 p.m.) against Rensselaer. The Whittemore Center will then be the site of an exhibition game between the Women’s Hockey East All-Stars and the 2009-10 U.S. Women’s National Team on Nov. 22 (1 p.m.). Tickets for both games are available now.

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