BOSTONShannon Clement (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) matched her career highs in both goals (three) and points (four) to propel the fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s 9-0 Hockey East victory against Northeastern University at Matthews Arena.

UNH, winners of 18 straight games vs. NU, remained atop the Hockey East standings by improving to 13-1-1 in the league and 21-3-4 overall. The Huskies, now winless in 13 games (0-12-1), are 3-24-2 overall and 2-14-2 in Hockey East.

Clement, who recorded her third career hat trick, received ample offensive support from Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario; two goals, assist) and Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.; three assists), both of whom recorded three points. It marked a season-high three points for Hitchcock and Wedster tied her personal best with the three assists.

Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) became the 36th  UNH player to record 100 career points with her 42nd career goal, an unassisted tally that gave the ‘Cats a 6-0 lead at 3:06 of the third period.

Senior goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) added to her school record totals in wins (80) and shutouts (28) with a 10-save effort. Four other ‘Cats recorded multiple points. Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland) and Courtney Sheary (Melrose, Mass.) each recorded two assists and Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) had a goal and an assist.

The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on Hitchcock’s team-leading 21s goal of the season at 8:18. Hitchcock collected the puck from Hekle behind the net, circled towards the left post and tucked a low backhanded wraparound shot inside the far post. Sheary, with the outlet pass through the neutral zone to Hekle, was also credited with an assist.

New Hampshire struck in the opening minute of the second stanza and later netted three goals in a span 3:21 to break the game open. In the first shift of the period, the forecheck of Hitchcock, Hekle and Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) kept the puck in the offensive zone and produced a goal. Hekle worked the puck from the right boards to Hitchcock in the right corner. She then found an unmarked Craig at the right post for the tally at :29.

Ashley Bielawski nearly put the Huskies in the scoring column on a breakaway at 6:30 of the middle stanza when she cut from the left circle across the slot and backhanded a shot that caromed off the right post. UNH defenseman Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) then swept the puck off the goal line underneath Bourdon to freeze play. Minutes later, Bielaski again snuck behind the defense but her shot from the left circle was turned aside by Bourdon.

Soon thereafter, the ‘Cats quickly turned a two-goal lead into a 5-0 advantage. On the power play, Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) moved the puck from the left circle to the high slot, where Garland fired a shot that ricocheted off Hitchcock into the net at 12:46.

Clement scored 40 seconds later and struck again at 16:07 to produce the five-goal cushion. She netted her first goal on a shot from the high slot with the assistance of Taylor, with the pass off the right boards, and Wedster. Diana Saly (Edi na, Minn.) recorded her first point of the season when her pass from the neutral zone to Wedster in the right circle led to Clement’s goal on a high shot in the slot.

After Wright-Ward’s wrist shot from the right circle hit the upper-right corner of the net early in the third period, the ‘Cats continued to dominate play and extend the lead. Garland’s screened shot from the right point sailed into the net at 5:36 for a 7-0 differential. Taylor, with the pass back to Garland, and Clement, who won the faceoff to Taylor, were credited with assists.

Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) scored at 11:48 when her shot from the right circle went between the legpads of NU goalie Sydney Arbelbide (24 saves). Sheary’s assist marked her first career multiple-point game and helped chase Arbelbide from the game. NU called time out and inserted Sarah Belliveau into the game. Belliveau surrendered one goal and was credited with seven saves in the final 8:12.

Clement completed her hat trick and capped the scoring when she redirected Nicole Goguen’s (Truro, Nova Scotia) shot from the high slot inside the right post. Wedster was also credited with an assist on the tally.

New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 11 (2 p.m.) at Providence College. The Wildcats’ next home game is Senior Day on Feb. 18. Game time vs. the University of Connecticut is 2 p.m.

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