DURHAM, N.H. – Haley Breedlove (Plano, Texas) recorded her first goal of the season while netminder Vilma Vaattovaara (Veikkola, Finland) made 33 saves as the University of New Hampshire women's hockey team fell to Boston University by a score of 3-1 Friday night at the Whittemore Center.
The loss bumps the Wildcats to 5-3-1 on the year and to 1-1-1 in Hockey East play while Boston University improves to 5-1-1 overall and to 2-0-0 in conference action.
Breedlove got the Wildcats on the board at the 3:29 mark of the first period with her first goal of the season and second of her career. The play was a result of a flurry of offense with shots by senior Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) and by junior Hannah Armstrong (Kewsick, Ontario). Armstrong found the puck behind the net and saucered it to Jenna Lascelle (Cornwall, Ontario) on the side of the net. Lascelle played it to Breedlove who settled the puck and blasted it past BU goalie Kerrin Sperry.
The Terriers nearly tied the game with just over seven minutes remaining in the period as Kayla Tutino ripped a one-time shot from the right side of Wildcat netminder Vilma Vaattovaara (Veikkola, Finland), but was denied by the goalie with a strong blocker save. Vaattovaara made an additional seven saves in the period to keep the Boston University attack at bay and off the scoreboard.
New Hampshire pummeled Sperry with 11 total shots in the frame and converted on the one by Breedlove. At the end of the first period, the Wildcats held a 1-0 advantage.
Boston University boosted its offense in the second period by laying on a total of 18 shots in the frame. Sarah Lefort leveled the score with her fifth goal of the season. Samantha Sutherland played the puck up ice to Tutino who in turn found Lefort near the post. Lefort's initial shot was saved by Vaattovaara, but she scooped the rebound into the top of the goal. Vaattovaara remained resilient between the pipes for New Hampshire, making 17 total saves in the period to bring her game total to 25. Sperry saved each of the four shots she faced in the stanza.
In the third period, junior Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.) received a puck in perfect fashion to avoid being offsides and skated into the BU zone. With just Sperry between her and the net, Mork juked right and went to the lower left of the net, but Sperry extended her right leg to deny Mork and keep the game tied.
Louise Warren was able to give the Terriers a 2-1 lead at the 14:32 mark of the third period with her fourth goal of the year. Sarah Steele saucered a pass to Maddie Elia along the boards in the UNH zone. Elia found Louise Warren in front of the net who in turn fired a shot was barely beat Vaattovaara through traffic. Minutes later, Lefort came speeding down the left flank of the sheet on a breakaway. She attempted a shot to the lower left section of the net, but Vaattovaara denied the shot to prevent the goal.
The Wildcats pulled Vaattovaara for the extra attacker with just over a minute remaining in the third. The Wildcats were on the attack in the BU zone, however Lefort was able to come out of the zone and play the puck to Warren in the neutral zone. Warren took a shot from just inside the blueline and played it into the empty net for the 3-1 lead with just 15 seconds left in the game. As time expired, the Terriers came back for the 3-1 victory.
Vaattovaara made a total of 33 saves in the game on the 35 shots she face. Her record now stands at 4-1-1 on the year. Sperry made 22 saves on 23 shots faced, getting the win and improving her record to 5-0-1. Both teams were 0-for-4 in power play opportunities.
The Wildcats are back on the ice on Sunday as they travel to Northeastern University for an afternoon tilt. The puck is set to drop at 2 p.m.