No. 1 UNH women’s hockey skates to 5-5 draw with Maine

Clement records second career hat trick for ‘Cats

Shannon Clement

ORONO, Maine - Shannon Clement (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) scored three goals, including the game-tying tally with 1:15 remaining in regulation, to lift the No. 1-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team into a 5-5 tie with the University of Maine at Alfond Arena on Friday night.

UNH extended its unbeaten streak to 12 games (11-0-1) to improve to 16-2-1 overall and 7-1-1 in Hockey East. Maine, which had been idle since Dec. 10, is now 10-4-5, 2-4-3.

Maine trailed 4-2 entering the third period but rallied to take a 5-4 lead on power-play goals by Brigitte Laflamme at 5:29, Patricia Gagnon at 14:46 and Kim Meagher at 18:09. UNH had entered the game with 23 consecutive penalty kills and extended the streak to 26 before the Black Bears' outburst.

Maine's lead was short-lived, however. Clement, who has recorded a goal in five consecutive games and a point in eight of nine, tied the score 5-5 at 18:45 when she scored off a rebound from a scrum in front of the net just before UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) reached the bench in favor of an extra skater.

Bourdon stopped three shots in the five-minute extra session to finish with 20 saves. Maine counterpart Genevieve Turgeon was credited with one save in OT and 29 overall.

In addition to Clement, Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) and Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) finished with three points apiece with a goal and two assists.

The teams skated to a 2-2 tie through one period with UNH taking a one-goal lead twice. The Wildcats struck quickly as Craig netted her team-leading 13th goal of the season at 1:03. She started the play with a pass from the left circle to Hitchcock in the left corner. Hitchcock made the return pass to Craig in the slot, where she wristed a high shot into the net.

Maine's Patricia Gagnon tied the score, 1-1, with shorthanded goal at 5:50 when UNH's Bourdon stopped Sonia Corriveau on the breakaway at the left post but Gagnon tapped the loose puck off the rebound into the open right side.

Clement put the 'Cats back on top, 2-1, at 6:30. Turgeon stopped the initial shot from the left point by Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario), but Clement scored off the rebound in front. Corriveau, with the assistance of Gagnon, pulled the Black Bears even, 2-2, on a 4x4 tally at 9:47.

Hitchcock, who extended her point-scoring streak to seven games with her first-period assist, gave UNH a 3-2 lead at 1:39 of the second period. Craig, in the right corner, initiated the sequence with a pass behind the net to Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.), who in turn centered the puck to Hitchcock in the low slot.

Clement's second goal of the game - again on a rebound in front, this time off Hitchcock's shot from the right circle - extended UNH's advantage to 4-2 at 13:26. Craig was also credited with an assist.

New Hampshire and Maine conclude the weekend series Jan. 14 (3 p.m.) at Alfond Arena. The next Wildcat home game is Jan. 20 (7 p.m.) vs. intrastate rival Dartmouth College. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com/tickets.

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