DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team held a pair of one-goal leads in the first period, but seventh-ranked Boston College scored early in the second period and late in the third to prevail 3-2 Sunday afternoon at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which handed BC its only league loss in mid-October, is now 9-14-2 overall and 4-7-2 in Hockey East. Boston College extended it win streak to five and unbeaten streak to nine (7-0-2) to improve to 18-4-3, 13-1-1.
Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.) gave the Wildcats an early lead and Jess Ryan (Cloquet, Minn.) put the 'Cats back in front to account for the UNH goals. Vilma Vaattovaara (Veikkola, Finland) made 10 of her 20 saves in the second stanza.
BC's offense was led by Taylor Wasylk, who scored the team's first goal and set up the second, and Kate Leary (two assists). Emily Field's redirection of Haley McLean's shot with 1:56 remaining in regulation lifted the Eagles to victory. Corinne Boyles stopped 31 shots, including 12 in the first and 11 in the third.
New Hampshire took a 1-0 lead just 1:46 into the game. Arielle O'Neill (St. Catharines, Ontario) chipped the puck out of the defensive zone and Cassandra Vilgrain (Calgary, Alberta) gained possession in the neutral zone. Vilgrain advanced on a diagonal across the center line and blue line toward the right circle, where she fired a low shot. Boyles made the save, but Mork corralled the loose puck at the top of the crease and shoveled a shot inside the left post for her third goal of the season.
BC responded with a goal at 4:55 to tie the score. Leary's initial shot from the left circle was stopped by Vaattovaara, but the rebound went to Wasylk's stick low on the right side and she deposited a shot into the open near side of the cage. Dana Trivigno was also credited with an assist.
The 'Cats regained the lead, 2-1, with a power-play goal at 19:39. With a faceoff to Boyles' left, UNH's Sara Carlson (Hutchinson, Minn.) drew the puck back. A BC skater attempted to clear the puck out of the zone, but Ryan kept it in at the right point and skated to the high slot. She slipped a pass back to whence she came and Carlson immediately sent a return pass to Ryan, whose low blast sailed inside the right post.
The Wildcats took that one-goal lead and 14-7 shot advantage into the first intermission.
Boston College once again tied the score, 2-2, on Emily Pfalzer's goal at 2:42 of the second period. Wasylk initiated the scoring sequence with a pass up-ice to Leary, who dangled through the left circle and pushed the puck to Pfalzer, who quickly snapped a wrister into the net.
UNH recorded an 11-5 shot advantage in the third period, but it was the visitors who netted the lone goal of the stanza to take a 3-2 lead at 18:04. BC's outlet pass in the neutral zone hit Andie Anastos at center ice and was gathered by McLean, who dumped the puck into the left circle. Field gained possession and slipped a pass to McLean at the faceoff dot. McLean's shot was redirected in by Field, who had continued to the front of the net.
The Wildcats pulled Vaattovaara with 1:20 left on the clock and, moments later, Hannah Armstrong (Keswick, Ontario) was denied at the right doorstep by Boyles. UNH called time out with 42 seconds to play, but both shots attempted the rest of the way – one by O'Neill and another by Alexis Crossley (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia) – went wide of the cage.
UNH finished with a 33-23 shot advantage and went 1-for-3 on the power play. BC generated six shots on two power plays, but did not score with the skater advantage.
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 1-2 for a two-game series at the University of Maine; both games begin at 3 pm. The Wildcats' next home game is Feb. 9 (2 p.m.) vs. the University of Connecticut.