DURHAM, N.H. – Sophomore goaltender Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) made a career-high 36 saves, including 20 in the third period, to lift the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Friday night’s 1-1 tie against 10th-ranked Harvard University in non-conference action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which extended its unbeaten streak vs. the Crimson to seven games (5-0-2), is now 8-4-4 overall. Harvard moves to 4-4-3.
Following a scoreless first period, Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead with her team-leading 12th goal of the season at 10:03 of the second stanza. Kelly Cahill (Farmington Hills, Mich.) kept the puck in the offensive zone at the right point and slid the puck along the blue line to Maggie Joyce (Hudson, Ohio), who made a quick return to Cahill along the boards. Cahill’s shot towards the net was redirected by Wakefield’s stick into the upper-left corner.
Harvard gained a 5x3 power play advantage for 73 seconds at 18:37 of the second period. Kate Buesser won the ensuing faceoff from the right circle across the slot and Sarah Vaillancourt retrieved the puck at the left point. She settled the puck and snapped a pass down low to Sarah Wilson, who gathered the puck and lifted a shot into the upper-left corner of the net at 18:46.
The Crimson finished the period on the power play, but UNH had the best scoring chance on a Wakefield breakaway down the slot that HU goalie Christina Kessler turned aside for one of her 12 saves in the game.
After successfully killing the remainder of the visitor’s power-play opportunity at the start of the third period, UNH went on the power play at 1:27. Moments later, Wakefield’s shot from the slot was blocked and then Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) was denied by Kessler at the left post.
Harvard then generated a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush in which Vaillancourt carried the puck into the left circle and sent a pass across the slot to Wilson, whose shot back across sailed wide left of the cage. Vaillancourt gained possession off the rebound and, from the left circle, wristed a shot off the near post.
With UNH shorthanded in the ninth minute, Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) began a rush along the right dashers. From the top of the circle, she sent the puck into the slot, where the charging Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) redirected a dangerous shot into Kessler.
With 6:30 remaining in regulation, Vaillancourt led a Crimson rush on the left wing. She dumped the puck into the low slot and Jenny Brine’s redirection was turned away by Herman.
UNH went on its seventh power play of the night at 14:01 and called time out. Despite possession in the offensive zone, the ‘Cats did not record a shot on goal during the two minute advantage.
Midway through the five-minute extra session, Herman extended the game by denying Vaillancourt and then Anna McDonald off the rebound with a glove save.
Less than a minute later, Wakefield’s blast from the left circle was stopped by Kessler.
Kessler made three of her 12 saves in OT and Herman stopped two shots in the extra session.
The penalty kill units were the story of the first period as neither team allowed the other to generate a dangerous scoring chance in two power-play opportunities for each team.
UNH began the second stanza with 59 seconds remaining on a power play, but did not record a shot on goal. The ‘Cats went back on the power play at 1:08 but the Crimson’s penalty once again was stout and only surrendered one shot.
Harvard had a 5x3 power play for 1:52 when New Hampshire was whistled for penalties at 6:14 and 6:22, but the Wildcats limited the Crimson to only two shots in that time.
UNH is now 0-0-4 in overtime this season and 4-0-11 in its last 15 OT games.
New Hampshire returns to action Dec. 7 (3 p.m.) at Boston University. The Wildcats’ next home game is Dec. 9 against Northeastern University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.