WOMEN'S HOCKEY DEFEATS BOSTON U., 3-2

BOXSCORE


BOSTON
 -- Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) and Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) both recorded a goal and an assist and Shannon Clement (Sault Ste Marie, Ontario) had two assists to lead the fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Wednesday night’s 3-2 Hockey East victory against Boston University at Walter Brown Arena.

           UNH extended its unbeaten streak to nine games (7-0-2) to improve to 24-3-5 overall and 16-1-2 in Hockey East. BU, which needed to win to keep its hopes of a Hockey East tournament berth alive, is now 18-12-3, 9-9-2.

            UNH goalie Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) recorded seven of her 13 saves in the third period for her 83rd career victory to move into a first place tie with Jody Horak (Minnesota) for the NCAA record. BU goaltender Allyse Wilcox stopped 43 shots, including 21 in the first period.

            The Wildcats dominated play through 30 scoreless minutes of play, including shorthanded scoring threats by Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) and Craig early in the second period, and finally broke through on Hekle’s goal at 10:35 of the middle stanza. Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) gathered Craig’s pass along the boards at the right point and fired a waist-high shot on which Hekle extended her stick to redirect the puck into the net.

            BU called time out at 11:41 and scored 71 seconds later to tie the score, 1-1, at 12:52 when Melissa Anderson scored off a rebound in front. Stephanie Armstrong, with the initial shot, and Kelley Karnan were credited with assists.

            UNH regained the lead, 2-1, at 15:02 and took that one-goal advantage into the second intermission. Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland) advanced the puck forward through the neutral zone to Clement, who entered the zone in the slot and pushed a pass to the right, where Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.) gained possession and wrested a shot from the right circle that tipped off the top of Wilcox’s glove, fell behind her and trickled across the goal line.

            In the opening minutes of the third period, BU’s Gina Kearns had a shorthanded breakaway down the slot but was stoned by Bourdon as she slid across the crease to the left post.

            Less than one minute later, the ‘Cats extended the lead to 3-1. Hekle won possession along the right boards and threw the puck behind the net, where Clement’s centering pass led to Craig’s goal at the left post at 5:30.

            The Terriers capitalized on their third power play of the game to pull within 3-2 at 14:42. Sarah Appleton’s initial shot from the right point was blocked, but she collected the puck and fired a low, screened shot into the net.

            BU was whistled for a hitting from behind major penalty with 1:40 remaining. The Terrier were able to pull Wilcox for an extra skater with 1:15 to play, but she was forced to reenter with :59 on the clock. She exited again with 22 seconds remaining but the Terriers could not generate another scoring opportunity.

            In the scoreless first period, UNH generated a 21-2 shot advantage with 15 shots on three power-play opportunities.

            New Hampshire concludes the regular season Feb. 24-25 with a two game series at the University of Vermont. Both games at Gutterson Fieldhouse begin at 2 p.m.

            UNH is the top seed of the Women’s Hockey East Championship, which will be played in Durham at the Whittemore Center on March 3-4. Tickets are available now at the arena box office, by calling 1-866-WILDCAT or by going online at www.unhwildcats.com.

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