Bourdon records 17th career shutout
DURHAM, N.H. - Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) stopped 15 shots to record her sixth shutout of the season as the second-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team defeated the University of Connecticut, 3-0, in Sunday afternoon's Hockey East matchup at the Whittemore Center.
UNH extended its unbeaten streak to 15 games (14-0-1) with its third consecutive win to improve to 19-2-1 overall and 9-1-1 in Hockey East. UConn, which ousted the Wildcats from the 2005 Hockey East tourney with a 5-4 overtime win in the semifinals, fell to 8-16-1, 6-6-0.
UNH's offense was led by two goals from Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) and two-point efforts from both Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.; two assists) and Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.; goal, assist).
Bourdon, now No. 2 on UNH's career shutout list with 17, made a couple of game-changing saves in the middle of the second period. With the game still scoreless, she denied Jennifer Houlden with a leg-pad save on a breakaway and then scurried back to the crease to stop Jaclyn Hawkins off the rebound.
Minutes later, the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead. UConn cleared the puck out of its defensive zone but Bellamy picked up the loose puck and skated into the left point, where her low shot sailed between the legs of Huskies' goalie Kaitlyn Shain at 15:52.
New Hampshire extended the advantage to 2-0 at 18:46 when Faber maneuvered around UConn's defense down the slot and slid a shot that glanced off Shain and continued towards the goal. Wright-Ward swooped in to poke the puck across the line. Bellamy was also credited with an assist on the tally.
The Wildcats took that two-goal lead into the second intermission and Wright-Ward netted her team-leading 17th goal of the season at 6:19 of the third period. Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) started the play with a pass to Faber in the right circle. She once again eluded the defense en route to the front of the net and was stopped at the top of the crease by Shain. Wright-Ward once again was opportunistic as she crashed the net and her shot off the rebound found the back of the net.
UNH generated a 32-15 shot advantage in the game and that included 12-3 in the scoreless first period.
Bourdon also came up big when the Huskies had an extra skater on the ice. UConn went 0-for-7 on the power play. The Huskies had a 5-on-3 power-play for 32 seconds in the middle stanza as well as a two-skater advantage for 47 seconds in the third period. UConn also pulled Shain in favor of an extra skater for the final 67 seconds of the game but could not beat Bourdon.
New Hampshire resumes its four-game homestand Jan 27 vs. Mercyhurst College. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m. and tickets may be purchased at www.unhwildcats.com/tickets.