FORT MYERS, Fla. – The top-ranked University of Wisconsin women’s ice hockey team scored two power-play goals and that was the difference in Saturday afternoon’s 2-0 non-conference victory against third-ranked University of New Hampshire at the Fort Myers Skatium.
UNH is now 7-3-3 overall and UW, which also defeated the Wildcats on Friday night, is still undefeated at 14-0-2.
The Badgers broke the scoreless tie at 10:07 of the second period. From the right point, Meghan Duggan slid a pass across the slot to Erika Lawler down low on the left side. Duggan, who collected the puck with her back to the net, backhanded a shot into the net.
UNH’s best scoring chance in the middle stanza came on the penalty kill in the closing minute. Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) intercepted a pass and fired the puck from the defensive zone to Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) breaking along the left boards. Paton maneuvered around a defender in the left circle to the top of the slot, but she was denied by UW goaltender Jessie Vetter (18 saves).
In the opening minute of the third period, the same Wildcat duo created another scoring opportunity. Faber advanced the puck through the slot to Paton, whose shot from the top of the
Less than a minute later with New Hampshire on the power play, a low, screened shot by Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland) from the high slot ricocheted off the left post and the net was dislodged from its moorings by a UNH attacker as Vetter scurried to cover the puck.
UNH went on its seventh power play of the game at 12:01. Despite sustaining possession in the offensive zone, the Wildcats did not have a shot on goal during that skater advantage.
Wisconsin went on its sixth power play moments later and extended its lead to 2-0 at 14:38 when Hilary Knight snapped a wrist shot into the net from the inner-left circle. Lawler, with the pass from the low-left circle to Knight, and Jasmine Giles were credited with assists.
The Wildcats pulled goalie Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan; 19 saves) in favor of an extra skater with 1:50 remaining in regulation. The Badgers effectively kept UNH at bay, however, and did not allow a shot on goal the rest of the way.
Neither team yielded many offensive scoring chances in the first period. In the 13th minute, UNH generated a 2-on-1 rush in which Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) carried down the right side of the slot. She attempted to deke Vetter and pulled the puck back to the right post, where the shot was turned aside by the Wisconsin goalie.
In the 16th minute, Paton broke behind the defense but was hooked and lost control of the puck before recording a shot. That play led to a UNH power play, but the Badgers’ penalty kill did not allow a shot.
New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 26 at home against Northeastern University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 5 p.m.