DURHAM, N.H. – Jenna Lascelle (Cornwall, Ontario) recorded a goal and career-high two assists to lead the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Thursday night's 4-2 Hockey East victory against Boston University at the Whittemore Center.
UNH won its third consecutive game to improve to 9-13-3 overall and 3-7-2 in Hockey East; the Wildcats gained sole possession of sixth place in the league standings by moving ahead of idle University of Connecticut and University of Vermont. BU lost for the third time in as many games to fall to 11-12-1, 6-7-0.
Lascelle, who matched her personal best of three points, has nine points (six goals, three assists) the past five games. Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) recorded her second consecutive multiple-point effort with two against the Terriers, and she has point in seven of the last nine games (with four goals, eight assists).
UNH goaltender Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) leveled her season record at 4-4-1 by stopping 27 shots, including 13 in the third period. BU counterpart Kerrin Sperry made 18 saves.
BU took an early 1-0 lead at 4:40 of the first period. Jill Cardella carried the puck along the left wing and slipped a pass to Cristina Wiley in the circle. Wiley's centering pass was one-timed by Kaleigh Fratkin in the slot into the net.
New Hampshire began to gain momentum midway through the stanza and a shot from the right point by Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) sailed through traffic but was stopped by Sperry. Arielle O'Neill (St. Catherines, Ontario) gathered the rebound in the slot and her one-time was also turned aside by Sperry.
One minute later, a UNH rush generated a Bryanna Farris (Carleton Place, Ontario) shot from the left circle that Sperry spurned, but the rebound went directly back to Farris and she lifted a close-range backhander over the crossbar.
In the 13th minute, BU's Isabel Menard led a 3-on-2 rush and she blasted a shot from the left circle wide of the far post. The Terriers kept the puck in the zone and Menard's shot from the slot caromed off the left post and across the crease.
The visitors led 1-0 at the first intermission despite UNH's 9-7 shot advantage.
The Wildcats generated a dangerous scoring opportunity at 6:30 of the second period when O'Neill flipped the puck the length of the ice along the left boards and Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.) raced behind the defense to break in alone on Sperry, but her lifted shot at the left doorstep went wide of the near post.
New Hampshire went on its second power play of the night at 8:17. Immediately off the faceoff, Horn's wrister from the high slot was blocked down by Sperry, who also denied O'Neill off the rebound. The 'Cats continued to pressure, however, and tied the score, 1-1, at 9:20 when Heather Kashman (Edmonton, Alberta) fired a shot from the left circle over Sperry's left shoulder into the upper-right corner of the net. Lavoie, who took the initial shot, and Lascelle, were credited with assists.
Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) scored her team-leading ninth goal of the season to give UNH a 2-1 lead at 11:24. The puck emerged from a scrum in front of the net to the right side, where Gifford gained possession, slowly drifted towards the post and swept a backhander into the net. Lavoie and Lascelle once again earned assists.
BU went on the power play 17 seconds later and capitalized on that skater advantage to tie the score, 2-2, at 13:07 when Jenn Wakefield's low slapshot through a Kayla Tutino screen beat Minton between the leg pads. Kasey Boucher and Tutino were credited with assists.
UNH regained the lead at 16:30. Caroline Broderick (Marblehead, Mass.) gained the offensive zone at the right point and advanced the puck to Farris, whose shot was stopped by Sperry. Emma Clark (East Barre, Vt.) corralled the puck deep on the right side, however, and tucked a shot into the cage.
The Wildcats carried that 3-2 advantage into intermission and in the opening minute of the third period, Lavoie collected a pass in the low slot, spun and flicked a backhander into Sperry.
UNH netted its second power-play goal of the game – the 'Cats finished 2-for-3 against BU's fourth-ranked penalty kill – to build a 4-2 lead at 6:14. Horn gained possession deep in the defensive zone to Minton's right and then O'Neill sent a diagonal pass through the neutral zone that Lascelle tracked down behind the defense at the blue line. Lascelle advanced to the left faceoff dot and lifted a shot over Sperry's shoulder for the goal.
BU pressured with 4:45 remaining, but Minton turned aside Louise Warren's initial shot as well as Cardella's bid off the rebound in the low slot and then Warren's shot from the left circle.
The Terriers pulled Sperry in favor of an extra skater with 2:51 remaining and Minton made one save before a faceoff in BU's defensive zone forced Sperry back into the net with 1:18 on the clock. The Terriers worked the puck back to the other end of the ice, which allowed Sperry to head back to the bench with one minute to go. UNH's defensive effort didn't allow the visitors to set up an attack.
New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 21 (2 p.m.) at Northeastern University in a game that will be webcast live online at ESPN3.com. The Wildcats' next home game is Jan. 28 (2 p.m.) against the University of Vermont.