Hitchcock's power-play goals lifts 'Cats to victory
DURHAM, N.H. -- Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) made 30 saves, many of them spectacular, and Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) broke a 1-1 tie with 7:40 remaining to lift the sixth-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 2-1 non-conference victory against Harvard University at the Whittemore Center.
UNH won its third consecutive game to improve to 12-3-1 overall. Harvard, which had won 12 consecutive games vs. the Wildcats, is now 7-6-1.
With the score tied 1-1, Hitchcock scored a power-play goal at 12:20 when she poked in a loose puck from a scrum in front of the net. Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.), whose initial shot from the top of the crease was stopped by Harvard goaltender Ali Boe, and Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) were credited with assists.
The Crimson called time out with 1:27 remaining in the game and pulled Boe (17 saves) in favor of an extra skater. UNH was whistled for a penalty with 39 seconds remaining to give the visitors a two-skater advantage. Julie Chu fired a pair of shots from the high slot but Bourdon was in position to make the save on both attempts.
With 15 seconds remaining, a cross-ice pass set up Sarah Vaillancourt alone in the left circle but Bourdon moved across the crease to make the save and preserve the lead. The Wildcats controlled the ensuing faceoff and cleared the puck into the neutral zone to secure the win.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead at 11:33 of the first period on a power-play goal by Stephanie Jones (Kimberley, B.C.), who collected her own rebound at the top of the crease and lifted the puck into the upper-left corner of the net. Hekle set up the tally.
Harvard, which recorded a shot advantage all three periods to finish with a 31-19 edge, finally beat Bourdon at 13:23 of the second period to tie the score. Chu's pass through the neutral zone sent Nicole Corriero alone into the offensive zone, and she skated down the slot and tucked a backhander into the net.
New Hampshire breaks for exams and resumes play in the 2004-05 season Jan. 1 at home against Princeton University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 2 p.m.