ORONO, Maine -- Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) matched her career high of four points with a goal and a personal-best three assists to lead the No. 2 University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Sunday afternoon’s 6-0 Hockey East victory against the University of Maine and Alfond Arena.
UNH completed the weekend – and season series – sweep of the Black Bears to extend its winning streak to a season-high nine games (8-0-1). The Wildcats, who are 30-0-3 in the last 33 games vs. Hockey East foes, improved to 23-3-1 overall and 13-0-1 in the league. Maine, defeated 9-1 on Saturday night by the ‘Cats, is now 2-21-3, 1-9-3.
Long’s linemates, Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) and Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), both scored two goals and Wakefield also tallied an assist.
UNH goaltender Lucy Schoedel (Ithaca, N.Y.), who had not seen game action since Nov. 24 vs. Niagara University, recorded eight saves, including five in the third period, for her second shutout of the season – both vs. Maine – and fourth of her career. UM goalie Sarah Bishop made double-digit saves all three periods (18,14,19) to finish with 51.
Following a scoreless first period, the ‘Cats netted four goals in the middle stanza to break the game open. Faber scored twice in 87 seconds – at 7:09 and 8:36 -- to give UNH a 2-0 lead. She struck first on the power play at the left doorstep after Bishop stopped initial shots by Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) from the slot and Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) at the top of the crease. Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) pushed the puck out of the scrum to Faber, who lifted the puck into the net. On her team-leading 21st tally of the season, Faber swept in along the right endline, deked Bishop at the right post and carried the puck across the slot to deposit the puck into the open net. Long was credited with an assist with the pass down low to Faber.
Wakefield extended UNH’s lead to 3-0 with a power-play goal at 11:02 when she collected Long’s pass while cutting down the slot and slipped a shot between Bishop’s leg pads.
Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland) scored her first goal of the season when she redirected Nicole Goguen’s (Truro, Nova Scotia) shot from the right point inside the near post. Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario), with the pass from the right circle back to Goguen, was also credited with an assist on the goal, which gave New Hampshire a 4-0 lead at 16:05.
Wakefield’s 18th tally of the season – second of the game -- gave UNH a 5-0 advantage at 5:23 of the third period. Long initiated the play with a pass along the left dashers through the neutral zone. Wakefield collected the puck and blasted a shot from the top of the left circle inside the far post.
Long capped the scoring at 8:45 when she collected a pass from Wakefield in the left circle, fired a pass across the slot to Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) and scored off the rebound in front. Bellamy recorded her 50th career assist on the play.
UNH controlled play in the first period and generated an 18-1 shot advantage in which Maine’s only shot was recorded with 40 seconds remaining in the stanza. Long generated one of the more dangerous Wildcat opportunities when she rushed down the left wing and threw the puck across the slot for Wakefield, whose quick shot was turned aside by Bishop. In the 11th minute, Hitchcock fired a backhander from the slot that caromed off the left post. The ‘Cats went on the power play soon thereafter and controlled possession in the offensive zone, but UM limited the shots to the perimeter. With five minutes to play in the opening frame, Faber lifted a backhand shot at the left doorstep but was denied by Bishop.
UNH went 2-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill to extend its streak to 48 consecutive kills.
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 9 (7 p.m.) at Boston College. The Wildcats’ next home game is Feb. 16 (2 p.m.) against the University of Vermont as part of the league’s “Skating Strides Against Cancer” event. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com, by calling 1-866-WILDCAT or at the Whittemore Center box office.