DURHAM, N.H. – Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) matched her career high of three points to propel the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Sunday afternoon's 4-2 Hockey East victory against the University of Maine at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which has won three of its last four games, moved into a tie with Maine for sixth place in the Hockey East standings by improving to 5-10-0 in the league; the Wildcats have a 12-13-0 overall record. Maine is now 10-14-4 overall, 4-10-2 Hockey East.
Lavoie scored a goal and equaled her personal best of two assists. Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) made 17 saves while UM counterpart Brittany Ott stopped 24 shots; Danielle Ward scored both Black Bears' goals to finish the weekend with five points.
Maine took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on Ward's goal at 18:26. Kayla Kalunzy gloved down an attempted UNH dump-in at her defensive blue line and methodically advanced the puck through the neutral zone and down the slot in a 2-on-3 attack. She then found Ward trailing the play in the slot, and her shot sailed high into the net.
UNH dominated play in the second stanza to generate a 12-5 shot advantage and take a 2-1 lead. Lavoie tied the score, 1-1, at 6:46 when she gained possession behind the net and tucked a backhanded wraparound shot inside the left post.
Consecutive penalties against the 'Cats gave Maine a two-skater advantage for 91 seconds at 11:06, but New Hampshire held the visitors without a shot during that extended power-play opportunity.
The Wildcats netted the second of four consecutive goals at 19:11. Sarah Campbell (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) stole the puck at the left point, maneuvered past a defender as she cut across the slot and deked Ott before lifting a close-range shot into the cage.
In the opening minute of the third period, Kelly McDonald's one-timer from the slot sailed past Herman wide left of the target. Moments later, UNH converted its third power play of the game into a 3-1 lead. The initial shot from the left point by Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) was blocked by a defenseman, but Lavoie corralled the puck and quickly swept a pass across the slot to Courtney Sheary (Melrose, Mass.), who snapped a wrist shot into the upper-right corner at 2:04.
Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) struck at 7:05 to extend the advantage to 4-1. Lavoie won the battle for the puck in the left corner and slid a pass to the slot, where Horn's one-timer sailed inside the right post.
Maine called time out at that point and pulled Ott in favor of an extra skater eight times spanning the last 8:21 of the game. The Black Bears went on a power play at 9:44 and, with an empty net for a two-skater advantage, Ward scored her second goal of the game at 11:38 to trim the deficit to 4-2. Jennie Gallo and McDonald were credited with assists.
UM was whistled for a tripping penalty with 2:51 remaining and was unable to generate an offensive attack the rest of the way.
New Hampshire plays a home-and-home series next weekend against third-ranked Boston University. The teams face off in Boston on Feb. 3 (7 p.m.) and the series concludes Feb. 5 (2 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center.