December 8, 2013

Armstrong's Fifth Goal Lifts Women's Hockey Past Dartmouth, 2-1

DURHAM, N.H. – Hannah Armstrong (Keswick, Ontario) snapped a tie game with her fifth goal of the season at 9:18 of the third period to lift the University of New Hampshire women's hockey team to Sunday afternoon's 2-1 non-conference victory against Dartmouth College at the Whittemore Center.

UNH improved to 7-10-2 while the Big Green dropped to 2-10-0 following its fourth consecutive loss.

Jessica Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) leveled the score, 1-1, at 10:01 of the second period and Armstrong potted her first game-winning goal of the season when she gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead at 9:18 of the third period. Ashley Wilkes (North Pole, Alaska) made half of her 24 saves in the final frame to match her personal high in a single period.

Dartmouth netminder Robyn Chemago finished with 33 saves, including 11 in the first period and 15 in the second. Lindsey Allen scored a power-play goal at 9:19 of the opening stanza to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. 

In the fourth minute of the game there was a scrum in front of the DC goal and both Arielle O'Neill (St. Catharines, Ontario) and Armstrong were denied by Chemago. Two minutes later, Jonna Curtis (Elk River, Minn.) corralled a loose puck at the top of the crease but her shot was also stopped by Chemago.

UNH was whistled for slashing at 8:22 and the Big Green capitalized on the skater advantage to score the game's first goal. Morgan Illikainen initiated the scoring sequence on a breakout from behind Chemago with a pass to Allen. Allen advanced up the middle through the neutral zone and slid the puck to Laura Stacey in the right circle. Stacey immediately executed a return pass and Allen's shot from the slot beat Wilkes. 

With 6:30 remaining in the first period, Cassandra Vilgrain (Calgary, Alberta) snapped a wrist shot from the slot that sailed over Chemago and ricocheted off the crossbar. The 'Cats went on their second power play with 44 seconds left in the opening stanza and Caroline Broderick (Marblehead, Mass.), from the high slot, found Alexis Crossley (Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia) unmarked low on the left side. Crossley quickly fired a shot on goal, but Chemago slid across the crease to make the save.

Dartmouth nearly scored a shorthanded goal in the opening minute of the second period. Emma Korbs sent the puck the length of the ice and Ali Winkel won the race to the puck in the left corner. Winkel continued behind the net and her wraparound attempt was stopped by Wilkes. The puck was loose, however, and trapped by the UNH netminder against the post to prevent the goal. 

The Big Green generated a 2-on-1 rush in the fourth minute, but Stacey's one-timer from the slot was blocked aside by Wilkes.

Two minutes later, O'Neill's slap shot from the right point hit Chemago and continued toward the right post, but the goalie pivoted and lunged to cover the loose puck with her glove. 

The Wildcats cycled the puck to generate the game-tying goal at 10:01. Circling back toward the left point, Hitchcock collected Broderick's pass and slipped the puck to Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) at the left faceoff dot. Gifford's shot was wide of the near post and Hitchcock gained possession behind the net. She emerged to the right circle and, after looking for an open teammate, ripped a shot into the upper-right corner.

Two minutes later, Gifford eluded a pair of defenders in the left circle before lifting a backhander from the slot on net. UNH sustained pressure on the power play and Gifford was denied by Chemago at the right doorstep. 

With 11:30 remaining in the third period, Broderick fed a pass from the right point to Heather Kashman (Edmonton, Alberta) cutting down the slot and her point-blank shot was kicked aside by Chemago's right leg pad.

UNH took a 2-1 lead at 9:18 of the final frame. An attempted outlet pass deflected off a Big Green player's skate in the neutral zone and Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.) chipped the puck forward into the right circle. Armstrong skated onto the puck and into the corner. Instead of continuing behind the net, Armstrong cut in front of the right post and shoveled a shot into the cage. 

The visitors called a timeout with 2:15 remaining. DC won the ensuing faceoff and Olivia Whitford's slap shot from the high slot was stopped by Wilkes. The rebound went to the top of the crease and Karlee Odland poked the puck on goal, but Wilkes was in position for the save.

UNH was then effective at controlling the puck, which prevented the Big Green from pulling Chemago in favor of another attacker. The goalie finally made her way to the bench with 20 seconds remaining, but the Big Green was unable to generate any pressure in the offensive zone the rest of the way. 

New Hampshire returns to action January 10, 2014 (7 p.m.) at home against Providence College.

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