DURHAM, N.H. – Sophomore forward Hannah Armstrong (Newmarket, Ontario) her first career hat trick and three-point game Monday night as the University of New Hampshire women's hockey team shutout the University of Connecticut, 4-0, at the Whittemore Center. Jenn Gilligan (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) backboned the 'Cats with a 19-save shutout.
The win improves the Wildcats to 12-14-2 overall and to 8-7-1 in Hockey East play while the Huskies fall to 3-23-3 on the year and to 1-14-1 in conference play.
The Wildcats started the period with solid offense and swift puck movement. At the 7:58 mark of the first period, sophomore forward Armstrong netted her eighth goal of the season to give the Wildcats a 1-0 advantage. Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) started the play when she played the puck to Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) in the Wildcat defensive zone. Horn threaded the needle with a two-line pass, placing a perfect pass on the stick of Armstrong who then carried the puck in for the goal.
Rookie Brittney Redlick (Biggar, Saskatchewan) increased New Hampshire's lead to 2-0 at 9:33 of the first as she lit the lamp with her sixth goal of the year. The play originated with Horn as she made a pass to Alexis Crossley (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia). Crossley found Redlick in Connecticut's zone who in turn fired a shot on net at UConn netminder Elaine Chuli. The puck hit Chuli's pads and trickled into the net for the goal.
Gilligan was perfect in the first period, stopping all seven shots that the Huskies fired on net. At the end of the first stanza, the Wildcats contained a 2-0 lead.
In the second period, Armstrong tallied her second goal of the game at 15:39, giving New Hampshire a 3-0 advantage. Senior captain Kailey Chappell (Pickering, Ontario) tallied her 10th assist of the season on the play. Chappell fired the initial shot on the play that was saved by Chuli, however Armstrong was there waiting for the rebound to put it away. For Armstrong, the pair of goals gave her four goals over her last two games.
Gilligan matched her save total from the first period, totaling 14 saves on all 14 shots she faced. Through two periods of play, UNH held a 3-0 lead.
Armstrong remained an offensive threat throughout the game and proved it as she tallied her first career hat trick at 3:18 of the third period. The goal came just seconds into a power play and gave New Hampshire a 4-0 advantage. Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) tallied the assist on the play.
Through three periods of play, the Wildcats secured a series sweep of the University of Connecticut with a 4-0 victory.
Gilligan earned her eighth win of the season with the shutout performance after making saves on all 19 shots she faced. Her record improves to 8-4-1 on the year. Chuli received the loss in net for UConn as she allowed four goals on 35 total shots faced. Her record now stands at 1-16-3. New Hampshire was 1-for-2 on the power play while the Huskies were 0-for-2 with the advantage.
New Hampshire returns to action on Friday, Feb. 15 as they travel to Providence to take on the Friars. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.