DURHAM, N.H. – Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) scored two power-play goals and Maggie Joyce (Hudson, Ohio) tied her career high of three assists to lift the seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s 5-1 victory against the University of Maine in Hockey East action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH completed the weekend and season series sweep of Maine to extend its winning streak to four games and improve to 13-5-5 overall. With the win, the Wildcats remain tied atop the Hockey East standings at 8-2-3. Maine, now 1-30-3 lifetime with 11 consecutive losses vs. the ‘Cats, is 4-19-2, 1-11-1.
Sarah Cuthbert (East Falmouth, Mass.), Raylen Dziengelewski (Southwick, Mass.) and Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) tallied UNH’s other goals and Kelly Cahill (Farmington Hills, Mich.), with two assists, was the other Wildcat with a multiple-point effort.
UNH goaltender Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) improved to 3-0-0 this season with an 18-save effort. Maine counterpart Genevieve Turgeon recorded double-digit saves every period (16-15-16) to finish with 47 overall.
The Black Bears took a 1-0 lead on Jennie Gallo’s goal at 8:38 of the first period. Minton stopped Gallo’s initial shot from the left doorstep but she jammed the rebound into the net. Jenna Ouellette was credited with an assist.
Wakefield, who has scored a goal in four consecutive games and eight of the last nine, tied the score, 1-1, at 15:06. Joyce initiated the sequence with a pass from the left circle to Cahill in the opposite faceoff circle. Cahill moved the puck to the low slot, where Wakefield gained possession in traffic and scored.
New Hampshire took a 2-1 lead at 8:16 of the second stanza. Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) moved the puck from the right circle to the top of the slot, where Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) quickly swung a pass to the left circle and Birchard shot the puck into the open near side of the cage.
In the 11th minute, Paton won a faceoff towards the slot. Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) skated to the loose puck and wristed a shot that was turned aside by Turgeon. Moments later at the other end of the ice, Minton preserved UNH’s one-goal advantage by denying Gallo, who was alone in the low slot to redirect a Vanessa Vani pass.
With four minutes left in the second period and UNH on the power play, Bellamy carried the puck down the right slot and wristed a close-range shot off the right post.
UNH led 2-1 at the end of two and Cuthbert gave the ‘Cats a two-goal advantage at 5:02 of the third period. Shannon Sisk (Pipersville, Pa.) led a 2-on-1 rush down the left wing. She centered to a streaking Cahill down the slot, but Turgeon made the stop. The rebound went back to the slot, however, and a charging Cuthbert shot the puck into the net for her second career goal – both against Maine.
Wakefield netted her second power-play goal of the game – 10th of the season – at 10:13 when Joyce corralled a loose puck along the right half-boards and found Wakefield alone on the left side.
Joyce tallied her third assist of the game when Dziengelewski scored on a shot through traffic from the left point at 14:35.
New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 29 (7 p.m.) at home against Boston College. That game kicks off the weeklong event of Hockey East’s Third Annual Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer. There will be a raffle and chuck-a-puck, as well as special merchandise, as part of the fundraising effort.