PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Melissa Anderson scored two goals to propel the Boston University women’s ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s 4-0 victory against fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire in the semifinals of the 8th Annual Hockey East Championship at Schneider Arena.

UNH, which had won the previous four league tournament titles, is now 19-8-5 and awaits the announcement of the NCAA Tournament selection show on March 7 (7:30 pm.). BU improved to 16-8-12 and will be making its first appearance in the Hockey East championship game.

BU goaltender Melissa Haber made 17 saves to record the shutout – the first of the Wildcats this season. UNH goalie Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) also stopped 17 shots.

New Hampshire generated a 7-3 shot advantage in the scoreless first period. In the second minute, the line of Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario), Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) and Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) generated a couple of dangerous scoring chances. From the left circle, Long maneuvered to the low slot and fired a shot that Haber couldn’t control, but she covered up the loose puck in traffic. Moments later, the rebound off Paton’s shot from the right doorstep was once again free momentarily before Haber covered it with her glove.

UNH’s penalty kill did not surrender a shot on BU power-play opportunities at 3:10 and 6:57, then Brittany Skudder (Plainview, N.Y.) floated a dangerous backhand from the slot that Haber snared with her glove.

The Wildcats opened the second period with 1:07 remaining on the power play. Paton, from the right circle, swung the puck low to Long. She centered the puck to Lavoie, who stickhandled to the right to create a shooting lane and shoveled a shot wide of the near post.

Moments later, BU’s Laurel Koller carried the puck into the offensive zone and her shot from the right point sailed into the cage to give the Terriers a 1-0 lead 58 seconds into the middle frame.

In the seventh minute, Long, Paton and Lavoie – as well as Kailey Chappell (Pickering, Ontario) – generated a flurry in front of the net, but Haber turned aside both shots on net.

UNH was also pressuring midway through the second stanza when Raylen Dziengelewski (Southwick, Mass.) skated in from the right point and wristed a shot from the faceoff dot that deflected high off Haber’s stick and landed on the netting behind the right post.

With 3:30 to play in the second, Long led a rush down the right wing and centered the puck to Lavoie. She swung the puck to the right wing, but the pass did not connect with the charging Paton.

Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario) had a pair of dangerous bids in the last two minutes. On her first rush, Allen blasted a shot from the right faceoff circle that caromed off Haber’s facemask. Moments later on another rush down the right wing, she maneuvered around a defender towards the slot and a shot from the front doorstop was stopped by Haber.

BU opened the third period with a flurry and Minton denied Anderson in the low slot to keep the Wildcats within 1-0. The Wildcats immediately counterattacked with Paton attacking down the right wing. She centered to Long, whose backhander beat Haber but ricocheted off the right post.

UNH went on its second power play of the game at 7:47, and the line of Allen, Skudder and Shannon Sisk (Pipersville, Pa.) kept the puck in the offensive zone for 90 seconds but generated just one shot on goal.

With 7:30 remaining, Allen carried the puck into the right circle and centered the puck to the slot, where the puck deflected off Skudder’s stick wide of the left post.

The Terriers quickly extended the lead to 3-0 with goals at 13:44 and 16:11. Minton stopped Jenelle Kohanchuk’s initial shot, but Brittany Hergesheimer’s point-blank shot off the rebound deflected into the air and trickled across the goal line. Anderson then increased the advantage to three goals when she cut from the right side across the crease and tucked a shot inside the open left post. Lauren Cherewyk, with the pass from the left point, set up the tally.

UNH went on another power play with 1:26 remaining and pulled Minton in favor of an extra skater. BU kept the ‘Cats to the perimeter and cleared the puck to the neutral zone with one minute to play. Anderson then won the battle for the puck at the right point, advanced to the open net and scored at 19:28.

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