January 10, 2012

Minton Records Career-High 39 Saves; Women's Ice Hockey Upended 4-2 at #4 Boston College

LINDSEY MINTON

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Senior goaltender Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) made a career-high 39 saves but the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team was defeated 4-2 by fourth-ranked Boston College at Conte Forum on Tuesday night.

UNH, which had not played a game since Dec. 11, 2011, falls to 6-13-3 overall and 0-7-2 in Hockey East with its fourth consecutive loss. BC, which completed the season series vs. the Wildcats at 2-0-1, improved to 15-6-1 overall and climbed into a first-place tie in the Hockey East standings at 8-2-1.

Minton, whose previous season high of 30 saves was at BC on Oct. 15, 2011 and previous career benchmark was 37 against BC on Nov. 28, 2010, recorded double-digit saves all three periods with 15 in the first period, 11 in the second and 13 in the third.

BC counterpart Corinne Boyles made 19 saves.

Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario; one goal, one assist) and Kailey Chappell (Pickering, Ontario; two assists) recorded two points apiece. It marked Chappell's first career multiple-point game.

The teams skated to a scoreless tie through one period of play in which BC recorded a 15-6 shot advantage and both teams went 0-for-1 on the power play. The Eagles carried play early, but New Hampshire generated a 2-on-1 rush in the fourth minute when Arielle O'Neill (St. Catherines, Ontario) carried the puck down the right wing. Her centering pass eluded the defender but went into the skates of Heather Kashman (Edmonton, Alberta), who was unable to gain possession.

Lavoie generated a couple of dangerous scoring chances early in the second period.  With 4:30 off the clock, Jenna Lascelle (Cornwall, Ontario) sent an indirect pass off the right boards that Lavoie corralled in the neutral zone. Lavoie, 1-on-1 against a defender, cut to the slot and her forehand was turned aside by Boyles. Two minutes later, Caroline Broderick (Marblehead, Mass.) made the indirect pass off the right boards to Lavoie, who muscled past a BC defender in the right circle but was denied at the post.

The Eagles began to reassert control and scored goals 1:47 apart to quickly build a 2-0 lead. Taylor Wasylk struck first at 15:20 when she ripped a shot from along the boards in the left circle past Minton. Alex Carpenter, alone in the slot, collected Mary Restuccia's centering pass from the left wing and slid a low shot into the net at 17:07.

UNH pulled within 2-1 with 37 seconds remaining in the second period. Chappell lifted a pass into the neutral zone and Lascelle knocked the puck forward into the offensive zone to create a breakaway opportunity. Lascelle skated down the slot and shifted to the left to tuck a shot past Boyles inside the post.

BC's Emily Pfalzer scored from point-blank range 24 seconds later, however, to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead heading into the second intermission.

The 'Cats opened the third period on the power play but did not sustain offensive pressure. UNH did capitalize in its third power-play opportunity of the game to once again trim the deficit to one goal, 3-2, at 10:11. Boyles stopped Chappell's initial shot from the slot and Lascelle's shot off the rebound at the left post, but the puck ricocheted to the right post and Lavoie jammed the puck into the net for her eighth goal of the season.

Both teams had an abbreviated power play of 57 seconds in the next couple of minutes, but the score remained 3-2 in favor of the home team. BC's Meagan Mangene, positioned in the slot, redirected Restuccia's shot into the net to reestablish a two-goal lead, 4-2, at 14:36.

UNH gained a 5x3 power play for 99 seconds when Boston College was whistled for minor penalties at 14:53 and 15:14. The 'Cats called time out but did not record a shot during that extended two-skater advantage.

A UNH Wildcat was sent to the penalty box with 2:01 remaining and BC maintained possession in the offensive zone the rest of the way to secure the victory.

New Hampshire returns to action with a two-game home series against the University of Connecticut on Jan. 13-14. Friday's game begins at 7 p.m. and Saturday afternoon's opening faceoff is 4 p.m.

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