DURHAM, N.H. – Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) scored two goals and Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) recorded her 100th career point to lead the No. 1-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team to Sunday afternoon’s 4-0 Hockey East victory against Boston University at the Whittemore Center.
UNH remained perfect on the season at 9-0-0 overall and 3-0-0 in Hockey East by extending its regular-season unbeaten streak to 35 games (34-0-1) with its 23rd consecutive win in regular-season play. The Wildcats also extended their home win streak to 21 games and they are unbeaten at the Whittemore Center in 27 games (24-0-3). The was the first loss of the season for BU, now 6-1-0, 2-1-0.
Hitchcock became the 35th UNH Wildcat to reach 100 career points when she scored her 49th career goal on a power-play tally that gave the ‘Cats a 4-0 lead at 13:52 of the third period.
UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) recorded her fourth shutout of the season – she has surrendered just one goal in her last four games – and 25th of her career with the 13-save effort vs. the Terriers. All-America goalie Jen Huggon holds the school record of 26 career shutouts.
BU goalie Allyese Wilcox finished with 35 saves, including 15 in the first period.
Craig netted a goal in both the first and second period to give the ‘Cats a 2-0 lead. Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) set up the first tally with a pass from the defensive zone to Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) at center ice. Paton then advanced the puck to Craig, who maneuvered to the front of the net and wristed a shot into the upper-right corner from close range at 8:32 of the first period.
In the opening minutes of the middle stanza, BU’s Genevieve Laing was left alone in front of the net off a faceoff but her backhanded shot was enveloped by Bourdon. The action quickly moved to the other end of the ice, where Wilcox denied UNH’s Shannon Sisk (Pipersville, Pa.) from point-blank range with a leg-pad save.
With BU on the power play, Bourdon made another strong save with four minutes remaining in the second period when she snared Gina Kearns’ wrist shot from the right circle that was headed for the near post.
Craig, who was denied on a shorthanded breakaway earlier in the period, netted a shorthanded goal at 17:00 to give the ‘Cats a 2-0 lead. Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) won possession of the puck on the right half-boards and backhanded a centering pass to Craig, whose shot from the low slot sailed between Wilcox’s legs.
The Wildcats once again proved dangerous while shorthanded midway through the third period, when Hitchcock was stopped on a breakaway and Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) was denied on the rebound in front.
Having already proven their potency with a skater in the penalty box, the Wildcats proved how potent their power play can be with a pair of power-play tallies. Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) collected a loose puck at the left post and scored to extend the advantage to 3-0 at 12:11. Hitchcock then attained her personal milestone when her redirection in the slot of Garland’s shot went into the net. Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.), with the pass from the right circle to Garland at the right point, was also credited with an assist.
New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 2 (7 p.m.) at 10th-ranked Boston College. The Wildcats return home for a two-game series against third-ranked St. Lawrence University on Nov. 11-12. Both games begin at 2 p.m.