DURHAM, N.H. – The University of Maine women's ice hockey team broke open a scoreless game with a pair of third-period goals en route to a 3-1 victory against the University of New Hampshire on Sunday at Alfond Arena.
UNH is now 9-16-2 overall and 4-9-2 in Hockey East. Maine, which went 2-0-1 vs. the Wildcats this season, is now 5-16-5, 3-10-3.
UNH goaltender Ashley Wilkes (North Pole, Alaska) made 23 saves, including 11 in the second period. Heather Kashman (Edmonton, Alberta) potted a power-play goal that lifted the Wildcats within 2-1 late in the third period.
Kayla Kaluzny broke a scoreless tie at 6:16 of the third period and Audra Richards, who scored two goals Saturday, gave the home team a two-goal lead at 12:45. Karissa Kirkup netted a power-play, empty-net goal in the last minute. Meghann Treacy finished with 32 saves, including 14 in the first period and 12 in the third.
Maine recorded the first two shots of the game in the opening minute, but Wilkes denied both Jennifer More and Brittney Huneke. The Wildcats responded with five consecutive shots, but Treacy stopped them all to keep the game scoreless through four minutes.
The Black Bears went on the first power play of the game at 4:14, but the New Hampshire penalty kill unit recorded the only shot the next two minutes, and then tested Treacy again shortly after the skater advantage ended.
Wilkes turned aside Brianne Kilgour and Hailey Browne before Maine went on its second power play at 11:45. Kilgour was once again stopped by Wilkes during that skater advantage.
The 'Cats, with shots by Jess Ryan (Cloquet, Minn.), Hannah Armstrong (Keswick, Ontario) and Caroline Broderick (Marblehead, Mass.), outshot their hosts 3-1 the last four minutes of the opening stanza had a 14-6 shot advantage at the first intermission.
New Hampshire continued to control play in the opening five minutes of the second stanza and generated a 5-1 shot advantage, including two by Armstrong and one by Hitchcock, Sara Carlson (Hutchinson, Minn.) and Megan Armstrong (Edina, Minn.).
Maine responded with a 4-1 shot advantage the next five minutes, but the teams remained scoreless midway through regulation. The Black Bears then went on another power play, but UNH's penalty kill did not allow a shot. The home team then recorded a 6-0 edge in shots the last 10 minutes of the second period.
UNH pressured in the opening minute of the third period, but Treacy denied both shots off Hitchcock's stick. The teams exchanged scoring chances until Kaluzny, with the assistance of Abbey Cook, gave the Black Bears a 1-0 lead at 6:16.
Richards' unassisted goal extended the advantage to 2-0 at 12:45 and Maine went on a power play at 13:05. The Wildcats' penalty kill remained perfect on the day by once again not surrendering a shot.
Wilkes was pulled in favor of an extra skater at 17:40 and remained on the bench when a 'Cat was whistled for tripping five seconds later. Kirkup, with the assistance of Hailey Browne and Brooklyn Langlois, reestablished a two-goal lead of 3-1 at 18:15 with a shot into the empty net.
Wilkes reentered the game at that point. Maine was whistled for slashing with 23 seconds on the clock and Wilkes skated back to the bench to give the 'Cats a two-skater advantage for the last 20 seconds. Treacy preserved the two-goal cushion with saves against Hitchcock and Megan Armstrong.
UNH outshot the hosts 13-9 in the third period and 33-26 overall. The Wildcats went 1-for-3 on the power play while UM was 1-for-5.
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 8 (3 p.m.) at Boston University. The 'Cats play host to UConn on Feb. 9 (2 p.m.) in a Skating Strides game to promote the fight against breast cancer.