CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Cassandra Vilgrain (Calgary, Alberta) scored a career-high two goals but the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team was defeated 5-3 by seventh-ranked Boston College at Conte Forum on Saturday afternoon.
UNH, which handed BC its only home loss and league loss back in mid-October, is now 9-13-2 overall and 4-6-2 in Hockey East. The Eagles, who had not allowed more than two goals the previous 11 games, extended their win streak to four and unbeaten streak to nine (7-0-2) and improved to 17-4-3, 12-1-1.
Vilgrain scored consecutive goals at 8:04 and 13:53 of the third period to lift the Wildcats within 5-3. Jessica Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) scored UNH's other goal and five 'Cats each tallied one assist. Ashley Wilkes (North Pole, Alaska) recorded double-digit saves in both the second (10) and third (11) periods to finish with 26.
BC netminder Corinne Boyles made 19 of her 29 saves in the second stanza. Dana Trivigno (one goal, three assists) and Taylor Wasylk (2g, 1a) led the offense. Emily Pfalzer (1g, 1a) and Kristyn Capizzzano scored the other goals.
Boston College skated to a 3-0 lead in the first period. UNH won the game's opening faceoff to set up a Hannah Armstrong (Keswick, Ontario) rush down the right wing. Her initial shot was stopped by Boyles but, with Hitchcock lurking at the left doorstep, the puck fell to the crease. Boyles dropped to the ice and covered the loose puck before Hitchcock's attempted jab.
One minute later, BC generated a 3-on-2 rush and Emily Field, deep on the left wing, was denied by Wilkes. In the ninth minute, UNH had a 2-on-1 rush in which Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.) carried the puck down the right wing. Her pass across the slot slightly trailed Jenna Lascelle (Cornwall, Ontario), who reached back and slung a shot wide of the right post.
The Eagles, who fell behind 2-0 in the previous meeting, took a 1-0 lead at 10:01 when Trivigno skated behind the net and fed Wasylk at the left doorstep for the goal. Kate Leary was also credited with an assist.
BC quickly extended the advantage to three goals with tallies 93 seconds apart. Trivigno, with the assistance of Wasylk, scored on a wrist shot from the slot that sailed inside the left post at 15:15. That tandem combined to produce the 3-0 lead at 16:48 when Wasylk's one-time blast from the top of the right circle found the back of the net.
UNH, which was outshot 8-4 in the first period, struck at 2:55 of the second period to pull within 3-1. Jess Ryan (Cloquet, Minn.) initiated the scoring sequence with a pass to Armstrong. From behind the goal line on the right side, Armstrong snapped a pass to the slot and Hitchcock extended her point streak to six games with a goal.
One minute later, the 'Cats generated another dangerous scoring chance when Lascelle's centering pass from the right wing was one-timed by Jonna Curtis (Elk River, Minn.), but Boyles extended her right leg pad to stop the puck.
Midway through the second stanza, UNH went on its first power play of the game and both Hitchcock and Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) were denied from close range. BC was on their second skater advantage of the game in the 13th minute, when Wasylk fired a low one-timer in the slot that was stopped by Wilkes, who also stoned Leary on the rebound at the right post.
With just under a minute remaining in the frame, the shorthanded Eagles chipped the puck into the neutral zone that sprung Field on a breakaway down the right side. Alexis Crossley (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia) raced back and forced Field wide left, where Wilkes made the save.
BC's Capizzano and Pfalzer potted goals 87 seconds apart at 2:27 and 3:54, respectively, to build a 5-1 lead early in the third period. Capizzano's power-play goal off a scrum on the left side of the crease marked the first goal against UNH's penalty kill the past five games. Pfalzer scored a 4-on-4 goal when her rising shot from the left circle caromed off Wilkes' shoulder and under the crossbar.
Vilgrain, off a pass from Caroline Broderick (Marblehead, Mass.) scored off her own rebound at the left doorstep to make it 5-2 at 8:04. A beautiful series of passes set up Vilgrain's second strike at 13:53. From just inside the offensive zone, Mork snapped a pass to the slot for Heather Kashman (Edmonton, Alberta), who slipped the puck low on the left side. Vilgrain then swept the puck into the open side of the net.
UNH called time out with 1:11 on the clock and pulled Wilkes in favor of an extra skater 31 seconds later. With 25 seconds to play, Broderick's slap shot from the right point was redirected in the slot wide left by Curtis. BC then cleared the puck the length of the ice to salt away the final seconds.
New Hampshire and Boston College conclude the season series Jan. 26 (2 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center.