Gilligan's Career-High 24 Saves Backbones Women's Ice Hockey to 1-1 Tie Against #5 Boston College
DURHAM, N.H. – Junior Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) scored to tie the game in the second period as the University of New Hampshire women's hockey team earned a 1-1 tie against fifth-ranked Boston College in its Hockey East opener Friday night at the Whittemore Center.
The Wildcats move to 3-1-1 on the season, including 0-0-1 in Hockey East, while the Eagles are now 1-1-1, 0-1-1.
The Eagles struck first with 3:37 remaining in the opening stanza when the rebound off Meagan Mangene's shot from the middle of the slot came out to the high slot for Alex Carpenter, who beat freshman goaltender Jenn Gilligan (Maple Ridge, B.C.) over her left shoulder to make it 1-0. Emily Field initiated the sequence with a pass into the slot from the right circle.
UNH gained the equalizer with 8:58 to play in the second period on Horn's fifth goal of the season. Sophomore Hannah Armstrong (Newmarket, Ontario) sent a long pass from deep in her own zone up the right boards to mid-ice where Horn collected the pass, skated into the offensive zone, cut to top of the slot and wristed a shot that snuck under the glove of BC goalie Corinne Boyles to even the score, 1-1.
The Wildcats nearly grabbed the lead three minutes later when sophomore Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) sent a pass through the crease from the bottom of the left circle for classmate Arielle O'Neill (St. Catharines, Ontario), whose shot was stopped by the left pad of Boyles to keep the game tied.
Under a minute later, UNH generated another scoring chance when BC turned the puck over in its own zone and freshman Heather Kashman (Edmonton, Alberta) wound up with it on her stick in the slot. Her shot was once again turned away by Boyles.
The contest remained deadlocked at one into the third period where Gilligan made a pair of saves to keep the game tied. With 10:30 to play, Blake Bolden received a feed from behind the net, but her quick shot from in front was denied as Gilligan made a sprawling glove save.
Carpenter looked to have the go-ahead tally when her shot from the slot was headed for the back of the net with 4:31 on the clock, but Gilligan again came up big as she thwarted the attempt with a diving stick save to her right.
Gilligan continued her solid play in the overtime period when she stoned Mary Restuccia point blank with the Eagles on the power play just 57 seconds in.
UNH would go on the power play just three seconds after killing off their fourth of the night and generated a trio of shots that were turned away by Boyles. Playing shorthanded, the Eagles nearly came up with the game-winner once again when Carpenter's pass from the left circle to the slot, set up Field, who was denied directly in front by Gilligan.
Gilligan stopped a career-high 24 shots, including eight in the middle stanza, while Boyles made 25 saves for the Eagles.
The Wildcats return to action Saturday, Oct. 15 (2 p.m.) when they complete the home-and-home with the Eagles at Conte Forum. UNH's next home game is Nov. 3 (7 p.m.) against the University of Vermont.