BOSTON – Isabel Menard and Jenn Wakefield recorded four points apiece to lead the third-seeded and ninth-ranked Boston University women's ice hockey team to a 9-1 victory against the University of New Hampshire in Sunday afternoon's Women's Hockey East Championship quarterfinal game at Walter Brown Arena.
UNH, which entered the tourney as the sixth seed despite a seven-game losing streak, ends the season at 10-22-3 overall. BU, winners of 10 of its last 11 games, improves to 21-13-1 and advances to play second-seeded Boston College in a March 3 semifinal game.
UNH starting goaltender Jenn Gilligan (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) made six saves and surrendered four goals. She exited the game after the end of the first period with UNH trailing 4-0 and was charged with the loss. Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) stopped 14 of 15 shots in the second stanza and finished with 21 saves.
Menard tallied one goal and three assists, and Wakefield recorded her 200th career point on the last of her four points when she completed her hat trick in the third period. Marie-Philip Poulin (1g, 2a), Kayla Tutino (3a), Carly Warren (1g, 1a), Louise Warren (1g, 1a) and Kathryn Miller (2a) also tallied multiple points. Kerrin Sperry made 19 saves.
BU quickly turned a scoreless game into a 3-0 lead with three goals spanning 1 minute, 51 seconds in the middle of the first period. Wakefield won possession of the puck behind the net and skated to the left circle, where she fed a centering pass in front to Jill Cardella for a 1-0 lead at 9:02.
The Terriers went back on the attack and Louise Warren's pass from the left circle found Poulin alone between the hashmarks in the slot, but Gilligan slid across the crease and extended her left leg pad to keep the margin at one goal. BU sustained pressure, however, and Taylor Holze centered a pass from the left circle to Shannon Stoneburgh, whose shot fluttered into the upper-right corner of the cage at 9:57.
Wakefield gave the home team a 3-0 lead at 10:53 on a rush down the right circle in which she cut across the low slot and tuck a shot inside the left post. She netted a power-play goal at 14:54 when her blast from the lower-left circle sailed inside the near post to give the Terriers a 4-0 advantage.
Minton allowed a goal on the first shot she faced at 1:23 of the second period by Menard to make the score 5-0 in favor of BU.
UNH's Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) led a rush down the right wing at 6:45 and fired a shot high of the cage. She continued behind the net and corralled the puck in the left circle, then maneuvered to the slot and snapped a low, hard shot wide of the left post.
The Wildcats sustained pressure, however, to create a power-play opportunity at 7:31. They effectively cycled the puck in the offensive zone to pull within 5-1 at 8:04. From the right point, Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) sent a pass behind the goal line to Lavoie, who quickly snapped a pass to Arielle O'Neill (St Catharines, Ontario) in the low slot for the goal.
UNH created another dangerous scoring chance with three minutes in the second stanza when Jenna Lascelle (Cornwall, Ontario) led a 2-on-1 rush with Lavoie down the left wing. The BU defender negated a passing lane and Lascelle was stoned by Sperry at the left doorstep.
The Terriers led 5-1 with a 25-10 shot advantage at the second intermission.
In the second minute of the third period, Menard maneuvered along the goal line on the right side and shifted to the top of the crease, where she attempted to slide the puck under Minton, but the goalie stayed on the ice to make the save while doing a split.
BU went on its sixth power play of the game at 4:00, and moments later Minton made another acrobatic save as she slid across the crease to make a left leg pad save against Poulin's one-timer from the slot directed at the right post, and then stoned Tutino off the rebound at the post.
The Terriers scored three consecutive shorthanded goals to extend its lead. Wakefield struck at 11:58, then Poulin (14:50) and Carly Warren (15;20) struck on the same penalty kill. Louise Warren closed the scoring at 18:12.
The end of the 2012 season marks the end of UNH careers for seniors Emma Clark (East Barre, Vt.) and Minton. The duo helped lead the Wildcats to three league tournament appearances, including one title, as well as a regular-season crown.