No. 5 UNH women's hockey upends No. 10 Providence, 4-1

DURHAM, N.H. - Led by a goal and an assist from both Carolyn Gordon (Petrolia, Ont.) and Stephanie Jones (Kimberley, B.C.), as well as a 26-save effort from goaltender Jen Huggon (Plymouth, Mass.), the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women's hockey team recorded the 500th victory in the 26-year history of the program with Sunday afternoon's 4-1 Women's Hockey East victory against 10th-ranked Providence College at the Whittemore Center.

UNH regained first place in the Hockey East standings by improving to 10-1-0 and 21-5-2 overall. Providence, which had been undefeated on the road this season (8-0-3), slipped to second place in Women's Hockey East at 9-1-1 and 14-6-6.

The combination of Jones and Gordon gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at 12:21 of the first period. Jones muscled past two defenders in the right circle and found Gordon alone low in the slot. Gordon's low shot beat PC goalie Jana Bugden (19 saves) for her 15th goal of the season.

The Wildcats extended the lead to 2-0 at 17:41 of the opening frame. The scoring sequence began when, off a rebound, Vicki Davis (Edmonton, Alb.) fired a shot wide. Lindsay Hansen (Northport, N.Y.) collected the puck behind the net and forwarded the puck to Chandy Kaip (Radville, Sask.), who jammed the puck in at the right post.

Huggon preserved that two-goal advantage when she denied Jenn Butsch on a shorthanded breakaway at 7:15 of the second period. Three minutes later, an off-balance shot by Allison Edgar (Brigden, Ont.) from the top of the slot eluded Bugden and trickled into the net.

The Friars failed to capitalize on a 5-on-3 advantage for 68 seconds, but did score a power-play goal immediately thereafter (at 15:22) to trim the deficit to 3-1. Standing in the low slot, Meredith Roth directed the loose puck to Darlene Stephenson, who fired a shot just under the crossbar. Kelli Halcisak was also credited with an assist.

UNH carried that 3-1 lead into the second intermission, and the duo of Jones and Gordon combined to extend the advantage to 4-1 with a power-play goal at 5:17 of the final frame. In a 2-on-1 breakaway, Gordon carried possession through the right circle and hit Jones cutting alone in the slot, and her wrist shot hit the upper-right corner of the net.

Providence called time out with 3:18 remaining in the game but could not take advantage of its power play over the next two minutes.

New Hampshire, which first sponsored women's hockey as a varsity sport in the 1977-78 season, is the winningest women's college hockey program in the United States. The Wildcats have compiled an overall record of 500-131-37 for a .776 winning percentage. PC has the second most wins (472).

UNH returns to action Feb. 7 for a non-league game against Quinnipiac University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.

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