Mass. – Sarah Cuthbert (East
Falmouth, Mass.) recorded a goal and an assist to lead the
fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey
team to Tuesday night’s 4-0 victory against Boston College in
Hockey East action at Conte Forum. The win was the 200th for
eighth-year UNH head coach Brian McCloskey, who has a career record
UNH, which extended its unbeaten streak vs. the Eagles to nine games (8-0-1) with its fourth straight win in the series, improved to 11-2-4 overall and 6-1-1-0 in Hockey East. BC is now 5-7-6, 4-4-3-3.
It was Cuthbert’s first career assist and the two points are a personal best. UNH goaltender Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) recorded her third shutout of the season and 14th of her career with a 21-save effort. Katie Brock (Marblehead, Mass.) tallied the first points of her career with a pair of assists.
BC goalie Kiera Kingston stopped 27 shots, including 13 in the first period.
UNH skated to a 1-0 lead in the first period with a 13-3 shot advantage. Cuthbert collected a pass at mid-ice and pushed the puck forward to break behind the BC defense down the slot. As she approached (goalie), Cuthbert pulled the puck to her backhand and lifted a shot into the upper-right corner. Brock set up the goal with a tape-to-tape pass from the defensive zone.
In the 14th minute, Allie Thunstrom had a breakaway down the slot. Her close-range shot beat Herman but caromed off the crossbar. Three minutes later, UNH generated a dangerous scoring opportunity when Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) made a centering pass to the low slot, where Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) corralled the puck and was denied by Kingston.
BC opened the second period with 1:21 remaining on the power play. In the opening minute, BC won a faceoff from the right circle towards the net and Caitlin Walsh was denied by Herman at the right doorstep.
In the third minute, UNH sustained offensive pressure that resulted in a screened slap shot by Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) that Kingston blocked aside to the left corner. The ‘Cats quickly moved the puck to the slot, where Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) fired a shot that Kingston turned away.
Kelly Cahill (Farmington Hills, Mich.) extended UNH’s lead to 2-0 at 4:10 of the middle stanza. Raylen Dziengelewski (Southwick, Mass.) initiated the scoring sequence with a pass from the corner in the defensive zone up the boards to Brittany Skudder (Plainview, N.Y.). Skudder advanced the puck with a pass in the neutral zone to Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.), who entered the offensive zone at the left point and skated to the circle. Horn then found Cahill down the slot for the goal.
In the 13th minute, a UNH turnover in the neutral zone gave Thunstrom another breakaway opportunity down the slot. This time, she pulled the puck towards the left and hit the outside of the post.
Moments after exiting the penalty box, Cuthbert had another dangerous scoring chance as Cahill found her in the slot, but Kingston blocked aside the slap shot with 3:15 remaining in the second period. One minute later with UNH on the power play, Birchard’s slap shot from the right point ricocheted off the crossbar.
In the closing minute of the middle stanza, Thunstrom curled out from the right corner but was stoned by Herman at the right doorstep.
UNH put the game out of reach with goals 31 seconds apart – at 7:47 and 8:13 – of the third period. Cuthbert carried the puck into the offensive zone and circled behind the net to the right post, where her point-blank shot was stopped by Kingston. The rebound went to the front of the net, however, and Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario) lifted the puck into the open net.
The Wildcats responded with immediate pressure and Lavoie, despite losing her balance, corralled the puck in the slot and fired a shot into the net. Brock, with the centering pass, and Long were credited with assists. Long extended her point-scoring streak to 10 games.
In the ninth minute, Thunstrom skated down the slot and once again shifted to the left post, but Herman slid in position to make the save and preserve the shutout.
New Hampshire concludes the 2009 calendar year Dec. 12 (7 p.m.) at intrastate rival Dartmouth College. UNH rings in the New Year at Fenway Park against Northeastern University on Jan. 8. The Wildcats’ next home game is Jan. 16 (2 p.m.) against Providence College; that game is part of Hockey East’s Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative.