BOSTON, Mass. -- Junior forward Arielle O'Neill (St. Catherines, Ontario) tallied an unassisted goal in the second period that would prove to be the game winner as New Hampshire ousted ninth-ranked Northeastern, 3-1, Sunday afternoon. The win improves the Wildcats to 7-10-1 overall and to 4-3-1 in conference play while the Huskies fall to 9-5-2 overall and to 5-4-1 in Hockey East action.
New Hampshire netminder Jenn Gilligan (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) came up with a big save on a shot by Brittany Esposito with just under 13 minutes remaining in the first period. Kendall Coyne got the Huskies on the board first in the game when she skated down the right side of the sheet and snuck a low shot in past Gilligan. The goal came 8:03 into the period and she was assisted by Colleen Murphy on the play.
Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) leveled the score with 1:20 remaining in the period on a power play goal, her second of the season. Jessica Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) started the play when she played the puck to Hannah Armstrong (Newmarket, Ontario) behind the net. Armstrong found Gifford in front of the net who in turn put the shot away. The Wildcats kept offensive pressure on Northeastern goalie Chloe Desjardins during the power play with a pair of back-to-back shots from Megan Armstrong (Edina, Minn.). At the end of the first period, the game was tied, 1-1.
O'Neill gave New Hampshire the lead in the second period when she blasted a shot from just inside the blue line and beat Desjardins under her right leg. O'Neill was unassisted on the play as she stole the puck from a Northeastern player and carried it up the ice. Sara Carlson (Hutchinson, Minn.) gave UNH a two-goal lead with 3:15 remaining in the second period on a power play. Alexis Crossley (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia) sent a pass in from the blue line that O'Neill received and dished to Carlson to put it away for the tally. Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) nearly got a fourth goal for the Wildcats when her shot bounced behind Desjardins, but the puck was swatted away by Tori Hickel as it was just inches from crossing the line. After two periods, UNH tallied a 3-1 lead.
Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) tallied a nifty backhanded shot in the third period and sent it past Desjardins, but was denied by the post. The Huskies pulled Desjardins with just under two minutes to play for the extra skater advantage, but the Wildcats' defense remained poised and denied the attempts. At the end of the game, New Hampshire tallied a 3-1 victory.
Gilligan tallied 31 saves in net for the Wildcats as her record remains perfect on the year at 4-0-0. Desjardins got the loss in net for the Huskies after making 14 saves on 17 shots in the game. Her record stands at 9-5-2. New Hampshire was 2-for-4 on the power play while Northeastern was 0-for-3 with the advantage.
New Hampshire will return to the ice Wednesday, Dec. 5 when they host No. 5 Boston College. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.