No. 5 UNH women's ice hockey defeats Maine, 4-1

Hitchcock, Taylor, Wright-Ward record two points apiece

Jennifer Hitchcock

DURHAM, N.H. -- Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) and Jessica Zerafa (Mississauga, Ontario) both recorded a goal and an assist to lead the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday night's 4-1 Hockey East victory against the University of Maine at the Whittemore Center.

It was the season opener for UNH, which went 3-for-7 on the power play and improved to 25-3-1 in season openers. Maine is now 2-1-0 overall and 0-1-0 in Hockey East.

Angela Taylor (Foxbar, Paisley) also recorded two points for the Wildcats with a pair of assists in her collegiate debut. Junior goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) stopped five shots in each period to finish with 15 saves. Her shutout bid was spoiled when Kelly Law's shot from the right point deflected high in front, landed behind Bourdon and trickled across the goal line for a power-play goal with 1:23 remaining in regulation.

The Wildcats quickly took a 1-0 lead on a goal 16 seconds into the game on a give-and-go by Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.). Hekle gained possession in the neutral zone and passed the puck forward to Faber, who sent a return pass to Hekle in the slot. Hekle cut to the right and tucked a shot inside the right post.

Hitchcock and Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) both hit the left pipe on shots between the faceoff circles before Hitchcock extended the advantage to 2-0 at 12:31. Taylor's shot from the high slot was stopped by Maine goalie Genevieve Turgeon (34 saves), then Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) hit the right post with a shot and Hitchcock scored from the low slot off that rebound.

UNH took that two-goal lead into the second period and went ahead 3-0 on a power-play goal at 6:31. Taylor collected a pass from Zerafa at the left point and fired a shot that Turgeon stopped, but Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) was in front to capitalize on the rebound.

The Wildcats continued to control play in the final frame and went ahead 4-0 on Zerafa's 5-on-3 power-play goal at 15:45. Wright-Ward's initial shot from the low slot was stopped, but Zerafa roofed the puck into an open right side of the net.

UNH recorded shot advantages of 15-5 in the second period and 14-6 in the third to finish with a 38-16 edge.

New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 21-22 at Niagara University. The next Wildcat home game is Oct. 28 vs. Brown University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.

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