DURHAM, N.H. – Eight skaters recorded multiple points in a balanced attack that led the third-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team to Friday night’s 7-2 Hockey East victory against Northeastern University at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which extended its home unbeaten streak to 30 games at 26-0-4, improved to 11-1-1 overall and 4-1-0 in Hockey East. Northeastern, which has lost 16 consecutive games in this series, is now 2-9-1, 1-5-1.
Captains Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) both recorded a goal and an assist, as did Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland), Steph Holmes (Rye, N.Y.) and Kellly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario). Three Wildcats – Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario), Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) and Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) – finished with two assists.
UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) made 11 of her 15 saves in the second period. NU counterpart Sarah Bellieveau made 20 stops in the opening stanza and finished with 44.
The Wildcats quickly took a 1-0 lead when Jackie Wedster (Chicago, Ill.) scored off a rebound into an open net 45 seconds after the opening faceoff. Wright-Ward, with the initial shot, and Hekle set up the tally, which was Wedster’s first of the season.
Taylor, with the assistance of Faber and Paton, then potted her second goal in as many games to give the ‘Cats a 2-0 advantage at 3:07. Hekle extended the cushion to 3-0 at 7:53 on a shot from the low slot; Wright-Ward and Hitchcock were credited with assists.
UNH opened up a four-goal lead, 4-0, on Hitchcock’s power-play goal at 14:04. Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) and Craig set up that goal, which extended UNH’s streak of consecutive games with a power-play goal to 11.
Northeastern, outshot 24-1 in the first period, trimmed the deficit to 4-1 on a goal by Annie Hogan at 1:54 of the middle stanza. The Wildcats responded with goals by Holmes and Paton 2:43 apart – at 4:43 and 7:26, respectively – to build a 6-1 lead, then Lindsey Caleo (Clinton Township, Mich.) scored off her own rebound at 10:06 to give UNH a 7-1 advantage.
NU’s Nikki Petrich, with the assistance of Chelsey Jones and Lindsay Berman, closed the scoring with a power-play goal at 18:54 of the second period.
UNH recorded a 15-3 shot advantage in the scoreless final frame.
New Hampshire and Northeastern conclude the two-game weekend series Nov. 18 (2 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center.