STORRS, Conn. – Sarah Cuthbert (East Falmouth, Mass.) and Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) scored first-period goals 61 seconds apart and Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) recorded 15 saves to lead the 10th-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 2-1 Hockey East victory against the University of Connecticut at Freitas Ice Forum.
It marked the season opener for both teams. UNH (1-0-0, 1-0-0 Hockey East) extended its winning streak vs. UConn to six games and its unbeaten streak in the series to 17 (15-0-2). The Wildcats are now 29-3-2 in season openers, including 8-0-1 in the tenure of head coach Brian McCloskey.
Lavoie, the team's top returning goal scorer from last season with 18, extended the lead to 2-0 at 7:58. Arielle O'Neill (St. Catharines, Ontario) and Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) were credited with assists and it marked the first career point for O'Neill, a freshman who made her collegiate debut.
New Hampshire took that two-goal lead and an 11-4 shot advantage into the first intermission.
UConn pulled within 2-1 at 2:53 of the second period on Jocelyn Slattery's tally, which was set up by Jody Sydor and Jennifer Chaisson.
The Huskies recorded a 9-8 edge in shots in the middle stanza. The teams combined for just seven shots in the third period with UNH generating a 4-3 advantage for a 23-16 margin overall.
UConn pulled goaltender Alexandra Garcia (21 saves) with 2:05 remaining in the game, but the Wildcats limited the Huskies to just one shot on goal the rest of the way and Herman turned aside that bid by Chaisson in the last minute.
UNH's power play was scoreless on four opportunities while the penalty kill was perfect in six shorthanded situations.
It marked the 52nd career victory for Herman, who is now tied for fourth on the program's career wins leaderboard with Cathy Narsiff and Dina Solimini.
New Hampshire continues its season-opening stretch of five consecutive road games Oct. 8 (7 p.m.) at Syracuse University. The Wildcats' home opener is Oct. 22 (7 p.m.) against Clarkson University. Single-game and season tickets are available by calling 1-800-745-3000, by visiting the Whittemore Center Box Office or by going online at www.unhwildcats.com.