No. 7 UNH women's hockey outlasts Niagara, 4-3

Wedster scores game-winning goal in overtime

Jackie Wedster

DURHAM, N.H.-- Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.) scored a power-play goal at 3:11 of overtime to lift the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday night's 4-3 non-conference victory against Niagara University at the Whittemore Center.

UNH, which defeated Niagara 4-1 on Friday night, opened the season with its third consecutive win to improve to 3-0-0. The Purple Eagles are now 0-2-0.

With the score tied 2-2 late in the third period, Wedster gave the Wildcats a 3-2 lead at 18:49 with a power-play goal when she poked the puck across the goal line from in front. Stephanie Jones (Kimberley, B.C.), was credited with an assist.

Niagara called time out and Ashley Riggs tied the score, 3-3, 13 seconds later when she broke in alone through the slot and fired a forehand into the net. Candice Moxley set up the goal with a pass through the neutral zone off the faceoff.

The Purple Eagles were given their ninth power play of the game at 1:02 of overtime, but they were whistled for penalties at 1:50 and 2:44 to give the 'Cats a power play beginning at 3:02. Wedster won the game nine seconds later when her shot from the high slot fluttered into the upper-right corner of the net. Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba), who had given New Hampshire a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 2:46 of the second period, set up the game-winner.

UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) recorded 20 saves, including two in overtime, while NU counterpart Nikki Rudy stopped 25 shots, three of which came in OT.

Niagara took a 1-0 lead at 5:01 of the first period by converting a 2-on-1rush from Moxley (goal) and Riggs (assist) into a goal. UNH rallied to tie the score, 1-1, at 15:57 of the opening stanza when Jessica Zerafa (Mississauga, Ontario) recorded her first collegiate point by scoring off a rebound in front. Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) was credited with an assist.

Hekle's tally, which was set up by shots from Lindsey Caleo (Clinton Township, Mich.) and Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario), gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game but Jessica Clermont scored off a rebound in front of the net to tied the score, 2-2, at 13:01.

New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 22 at home with its Hockey East opener vs. the University of Connecticut. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.

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