Lavoie Tallies Hat Trick as Women's Hockey Surges Past Providence, 6-4

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior forward Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) tallied a hat trick on the night as the University of New Hampshire women's hockey team downed Providence College by a score of 6-4 Friday night.

With the win, the Wildcats improve to 13-14-2 overall and to 9-7-1 in Hockey East play while the Friars fall to 14-12-2 on the year and to 8-7-2 in conference action.

Providence jumped out to a 1-0 lead 45 seconds into the first period when Beth Hanrahan scored on a power play. Molly Illikainen played the puck to Hanrahan in front of the net, tallying the assist on the play. 

New Hampshire kept the offense coming pummeling Friar goalie Sarah Bryant with nine shots in the period. Sara Carlson (Hutchinson, Minn.), Megan Armstrong (Edina, Minn.) and Jessica Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) each tallied a pair of shots on goal. Providence aimed a total of 12 shots on goal in the period with UNH netminder Jenn Gilligan (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) making saves on 11 of them. 

At the end of the first period, Providence held a 1-0 lead.

Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) tied the game immediately following a Providence penalty at 2:31 of the second period as she notched her fifth goal of the year on a tip in front of the net. Alexis Crossley (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia) ripped a shot from just inside the blueline while Horn found the shot and tipped it past Bryant for the power play goal. Hitchcock gave the Wildcats a 2-1 advantage with her ninth goal of the year and the second power play tally of the night for UNH. Megan Armstrong started the play by sending a pass to Katie Brock (Marblehead, Mass.) in the Friar zone. Brock found Hitchcock who then skated along the redline parallel to the net and jammed it past Bryant.

Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.) extended the Wildcat lead to 3-1 as she scored her first goal of the season at the 11:17 mark. Caroline Broderick (Marblehead, Mass.) started the play as she took the puck down the ice and sent a puck into the mix in front of the net as Mork was there to put it away. Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) added the fourth goal of the period at 12:59 to give New Hampshire a 4-1 lead. Hannah Armstrong (Newmarket, Ontario) flipped the puck up ice while Lavoie turned on the jets and outskated the PC defender. Just as the puck was about to reach Bryant's stick, Lavoie dragged it aside and sent a wrist shot into the goal from just outside of the faceoff circle.

Goal number two came for Lavoie at 16:58 of the second during shorthanded play. Kailey Chappell (Pickering, Ontario) played the puck to Hannah Armstrong who in turn found Lavoie in the offensive zone. Lavoie ripped a slap shot that sailed just above the stick of Sarah Bryant and into the net.

Gilligan came up big multiple times in the second stanza, including a big breakaway save to start the second as well as many saves on point-blank shots and one timers. After two periods, UNH held a 5-1 lead.

Just over halfway through the third period, Providence tallied its second goal of the game when Brooke Simpson found the puck in a scrum in front of the net and put it away for the goal. Corinne Buie tallied the first assist on the play while Brittney Thunstrom notched the second assist. The Firars cut the lead to two goals when Nicole Anderson notched the third goal of the game for PC. Anderson fired a shot on net that took a deflection mid-air right in front of the net and found its way in.

At 16:59, Lavoie tallied her third goal of the night and her second career hat trick to give New Hampshire a 6-3 lead. Chappell played the puck to Lavoie who skated in with it and beat Friar relief goalie Nina Riley on the glove side. Providence cut the lead to two again with 1:47 remaining in regulation when Hanrahan crashed the net through the slot and put the shot away.

At the end of three periods of play, New Hampshire emerged victorious by a score of 6-4.

Gilligan recorded the win in net for New Hampshire, improving her record to 9-4-1. She made a total of 24 saves on the 28 shot the Friars sent at her. Bryant received the loss for Providence after allowing five goals on 25 shots faced. Her record falls to 10-9-3. Riley came in at the beginning of the third period for PC and made five saves on the six shots she faced.

The Wildcats went 2-for-7 on the power play and notched a shorthanded goal while the Friars went 1-for-4 with the advantage.

The two teams will wrap up the season series on Sunday, Feb. 17 as the Wildcats host the Friars at the Whittemore Center. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m.


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