BOSTON – Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) led five multiple-point scoring Wildcats with a goal and two assists to propel the No. 1 University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Thursday night’s 6-0 Hockey East victory against NortheasternUniversity at Matthews Arena.
UNH won its fourth consecutive game to improve to 19-3-0 overall and 10-0-0 in Hockey East. The Wildcats are now 70-29-7 lifetime vs. the Huskies with 20 consecutive wins, including 10 straight at Matthews Arena, in the series. NU, which also lost 4-0 at home to New Hampshire on Dec. 2, is now 4-12-2, 3-4-0.
In addition to Wakefield, Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) and Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) scored two goals, Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) tallied a goal and an assist and Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) finished with two assists.
UNH goaltender Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) made eight saves to record her fourth career shutout – second vs. the Huskies. She also tallied her first career point with an assist on the game-winning goal. NU goalie Leah Sulyma finished with double digit saves each period (11-16-13) to finish with 40.
Following a scoreless first period, Faber and Wright-Ward scored goals apart in the middle stanza to quickly give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Faber scored on a shorthanded breakaway as she chased down a long saucer pass from Maggie Joyce (Hudson, Ohio) and deked Sulyma at the top of the crease at . Wright-Ward truck at when she stepped into Hitchock’s drop pass in the right circle and wristed a high shot into the net. Nicole Goguen (Truro, Nova Scotia), with the pass to Hitchcock in the neutral zone, was also credited with an assist.
Herman was challenged early in the third period when Alyssa Wohlfeiler, stationed in the low post, redirected a shot into the rookie goalie.
The Wildcats quickly regained momentum as Wright-Ward, with her second consecutive two-goal game and third in the last four, potted her 15th goal of the season at . Hitchcock gathered a pass from Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) behind the net and circled to the right post, where she sent the puck across the crease and Wright-Ward redirected the puck into the net.
Wakefield netted UNH’s second shorthanded goal of the game at when she stole the puck in the left circle and wristed a shot inside the near post. Paton netted a 5x3 power-play goal at and capped the scoring at . Her first goal was the product of a return pass from Faber at close range and the second was scored at the right doorstep into the open near side of the net. Garland, with the pass from the right point set up the latter tally while Wakefield was credited with the secondary assist on both of Paton’s goals.
UNH controlled possession through a majority of the first period. Early in the game, NU had more icings than minutes played (10 in seven minutes). In the fourth minute, the ‘Cats pressured as Faber intercepted an outlet pass along the right dashers and passed the puck down low to Steph Holmes (Rye, N.Y.), who was denied by Sulyma. UNH maintained pressure and moments later Faber’s shot from the slot rang off the right post.
The ‘Cats generated modest pressure during a power play, then produced three dangerous shorthanded opportunities in the 13th minute. On a rush down the right wing, Faber fired a shot wide of the far post. Faber and Paton then generated a 2-on-1 rush but couldn’t connect on a crossing pass. Near the end of the penalty kill, Wakefield charged down the slot and snapped a shot wide of the left post.
The Wildcats held Northeastern with nary a shot in the opening 20 minutes to mark the second time this season that the ‘Cats held the opposition shotless for an entire stanza; UNH outshot Vermont 10-0 in the first period of a 5-0 victory on Nov. 3. The Huskies finally recorded a shot at of the second stanza on Kristi Kehoe’s slap shot from mid-ice.
New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 17 () at intrastate rival DartmouthCollege. The Wildcats’ next home game is Jan. 19 () against ProvidenceCollege. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com.