– Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario) scored a
goal for the fourth time in the last six games to lift the
fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team
into a 2-2 tie against seventh-ranked Northeastern University in
Wednesday night’s Hockey East action at the Whittemore
Center. NU won the shootout, 1-0, in the fourth round to earn an
extra point in the league standings.
UNH, which entered the game with a 26-game win streak in the series vs. Northeastern, is now 13-4-5 overall and 7-3-2-0 in Hockey East. NU moved to 14-5-3, 8-4-3-2.
With the game tied 2-2 through 60 minutes of regulation and the five minute overtime session, the league rule that was implemented last season extended the game to a best-of-three round shootout.
As the home team, UNH elected to shoot first and Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario), who had given the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at 6:05 of the second period, skated down the slot, shifted to the right and then pulled the puck back to her forehand, but NU goaltender Florence Schelling extended her right leg pad to close off the left post. The Huskies’ Brittany Esposito skated out wide to the left, and when she attempted to cut back towards the middle, UNH goalie Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) came out of her crease and forced Esposito to lose control of the puck.
In Round 2, Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.), who extended her point-scoring streak to 15 games with an assist on Lavoie’s power-play goal, carried the puck down the slot and quickly shifted to the backhand, but her close-range shot was turned aside by Schelling. NU’s Kristi Kehoe also charged down the slot, but her shot sailed wide left of the cage.
Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) opened Round 3 with a quick, low wrist shot in the slot that ricocheted off Schelling’s left leg pad. Herman kept the shootout scoreless through three rounds as she pokechecked the puck away from Alyssa Wohlfeiler.
The shootout then moved to single-round elimination. UNH’s Brittany Skudder (Plainview, N.Y.) opened to the right wing and meandered back to the slot, where she wristed a shot that Schelling stopped. Rachel Llanes then ended the game as she skated down the slot and snapped a low shot inside the left post.
Herman finished with 21 saves, including three in overtime, while Schelling stopped two shots in OT and 28 overall.
Following a scoreless first period in which UNH recorded an 8-4 shot advantage, the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead when Lavoie extended her goal-scoring streak to six games. Birchard initiated the play as she maneuvered from the left circle to the high slot and fed a pass to Long at the right faceoff dot. Long centered the puck to an unmarked Lavoie, who settled the pass and lifted a backhanded shot into the upper-right corner.
NU responded with goals 2:31 apart to take a 2-1 lead. In the waning seconds of an NU power play, a UNH turnover in the defensive zone gave Casey Pickett possession at the top of the crease. Her initial shot was stopped by Herman, but Pickett shoveled the rebound over the goalie’s left shoulder for a goal at 9:46 – one second after the power play ended.
Kelly Wallace gave the Huskies a 2-1 advantage at 12:17 when her one-timer from the slot beat Herman. Lindsay Berman and Kristi Kehoe were credited with assists.
For the fourth consecutive game, UNH trailed at the second intermission. But, just as they were able to rally to victory against the Huskies at Fenway Park on Jan. 8 to record a 5-3 victory, the Wildcats erased that deficit early in the final frame.
Raylen Dziengelewski (Southwick, Mass.) won battle for possession in the defensive zone and flipped the puck off the left dashers into the neutral zone. Allen chased down the loose puck and entered the offensive zone with a pair of Huskies back defensively. As she approached the left faceoff dot, Allen split the defenders and advanced to the slot, where she placed a shot between Schelling’s leg pads to tie the score, 2-2, at 4:51. It marked the third consecutive game with an assist for Dziengelewski.
UNH was whistled for a penalty 31 seconds into the overtime session. NU immediately generated a dangerous scoring bid with quick puck movement, but Berman’s backdoor bid at the right post was stuffed by Herman. Moments later, Kehoe ripped a shot in the slot that caromed off the left post.
The Wildcats’ best scoring chance in OT came in the closing minute, when a shot from the right point deflected off traffic and the puck trickled through to the low slot, where Allen was positioned to backhand a shot into Schelling.
New Hampshire returns to action for a two-game series Jan. 29-30 at the University of Maine. The Wildcats’ next home game is Feb. 6 (2 pm.) against Boston University.