BOSTON – Vilma Vaattovaara (Veikkola, Finland) made 32 saves but the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team was defeated 3-0 Sunday afternoon by Northeastern University at Matthews Arena.
UNH, shut out for the first time this season, is now 5-4-1 overall and 1-2-1 in Hockey East. Northeastern is now 5-5-1, 2-2-1.
Vaattovaara stopped all eight shots she faced in a scoreless first period and tied her personal best for saves in a period with 16 in the third. NU goaltender Chloe Desjardins made 31 saves, including 13 in the first period and 10 in the second, for the shutout victory.
Katie MacSorley scored two goals as she gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead at 3:03 of the second stanza and netted a power-play goal at 4:41 of the final frame. Paige Savage potted the other goal, which came 85 seconds after MacSorley's first goal to quickly give the home team a 2-0 lead.
The Huskies swarmed early with a shot by Savage stopped by Vaattovaara followed by a Claire Santostefano shot wide and another by Sonia St. Martin blocked by Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.).
UNH responded with a flurry of shots – all before the game was three minutes old – by Caroline Broderick (Marblehead, Mass.), who was denied by Desjardins, as were Jess Ryan (Cloquet, Minn.) and Arielle O'Neill (St. Catharines, Ontario).
Northeastern went on the first power play of the game at 4:44 and Vaattovaara turned aside all three shots on goal to keep the game scoreless.
NU was whistled for hooking at 7:08. Ryan and O'Neill blasted shot from the high slot that were turned aside by Desjardins. Broderick was then denied at the left doorstep and again off the rebound by the NU goalie. With UNH's power play winding down, Broderick's wrister from the right circle was also stopped by Desjardins.
With seven minutes remaining in the first period, Jessica Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) shoveled the puck on net from the slot but it caromed off Desjardins' right shoulder and wide of the cage.
The Huskies nearly netted a late goal when MacSorley, surging through the left circle, beat the UNH defender to the inside but lost control of the puck in the slot and pushed a shot wide of the right post.
Northeastern scored goals at 3:03 and 4:28 of the second stanza to quickly transform a scoreless tie into a 2-0 lead. Tori Hickel advanced the puck out of the defensive zone to Hayley Scamurra, who quickly slipped a diagonal pass to MacSorley on the right win. MacSorley skated into thecircle and her low shot snuck inside the near post for the game's first goal.
Savage extended the advantage to two goals when she crashed the net and, from the top of the crease, deposited a rebound into the net. Santostefano, whose initial shot from the high slot was stopped by Vaattovaara, and Maggie Brennoit set up the tally.
The Wildcats went back on the power play at 4:53 and responded with a total of eight shot attempts, but only two made it through to Desjardins – four others were blocked and two shots were fired wide.
With just under three minutes left in the second period, Desjardins stoned Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) at the right doorstep on her initial shot and second stuff attempt.
The shots in the second period were even at 10 with UNH holding the overall edge, 23-18.
Early in the third, the Huskies generated a 2-on-1 rush and Savage's one-timer from the slot was stopped by Vaattovaara.
Northeastern went on the power play moments later, however, when a Wildcat was sent to the penalty box for checking at 4:18. The Huskies needed just 23 seconds to convert that opportunity into a goal and 3-0 lead at 4:41. Vaattovaara made the save on Scamurra's initial shot from the right point, but MacSorley gathered the rebound in front and chipped the puck into the net. Kelly Wallace was also credited with an assist.
Midway through the final frame, Hitchcock led a UNH rush down the right wing and her shot from the low circle was blocked aside by Desjardins. The 'Cats had another power play opportunity at 10:47. O'Neill's slap shot from the left point was stopped by the NU goalie. Broderick corralled the rebound on the left side and her shot was also saved by Desjardins.
New Hampshire went on its fifth power play of the game at 14:43, but this time the NU penalty kill yielded just one shot, and Desjardins handled that bid on the left wing by Cassandra Vilgrain (Edmonton, Alberta). Moments after the skater advantage expired, Vilgrain was once again foiled by Desjardins.
UNH was held without a shot the last three minutes of the game, in part because of a hooking infraction at 17:24.
New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 7 at home against Providence College. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.