DURHAM, N.H. - Jenna Lascelle (Cornwall, Ontario) recorded her first career hat trick with three goals, but the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team was defeated 8-5 by intrastate rival Dartmouth College in Sunday afternoon's non-conference action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which had won each of the last five games against the Big Green (including 5-4 in overtime at Dartmouth this past November), is now 6-12-3 overall. Dartmouth, which had not played since a 2-1 loss to Harvard on Nov. 30, improved to 6-5-1.
Lascelle finished the game with three points, which also marked a personal best. Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.) and Arielle O'Neill (St. Catharines, Ontario) also tallied multiple points with two assists apiece; it was Mork's first multiple-assist game, and the two points equaled a career high.
UNH starting goaltender Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) stopped nine shots and exited the game with the Wildcats trailing 4-3 at the start of the second period. Jenn Gilligan (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) went the rest of the way, yielded three goals and was charged with the loss; she was credited with 16 saves.
Dartmouth was led offensively by Kelly Foley and Erica Dobos, both of whom recorded two goals and an assist. Sasha Nanji (1g, 2a), Camille Dumais (2a) and Reagan Fischer (1g, 1a) also tallied multiple points. Lindsay Holdcroft made 22 saves.
Lascelle gave UNH a 1-0 lead at 4:10 of the first period. Mork pushed the puck out of the defensive zone to O'Neill. Lascelle then gained possession in the neutral zone, advanced down the slot and wristed a shot inside left post.
The Big Green responded with power-play goals at 5:18 and 8:23 to take a 2-1 lead. Nanji's initial shot from deep on the right wing was stopped by Minton, but Jenna Hobeika was positioned at the right post and chipped the puck high into the net to tie the score, 1-1. DC went in front when Nanji intercepted an attempted clearing attempt at the left point and struck a low, hard pass towards the far post that Dobos redirected into the net.
New Hampshire regained the lead, 3-2, with goals at 14:41 and 16:32. Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) was denied at the right post, but she corralled the rebound and from the top of the crease slipped a shot inside the left post to level the score. Bryanna Farris (Carleton Place, Ontario) and Kailey Chappell (Pickering, Ontario) were credited with assists. Lascelle netted her second goal of the game when she maneuvered from the right circle to the slot and backhanded a shot into the cage to put the 'Cats back in front. Mork and O'Neill once again garnered assists.
Dartmouth potted goals 56 seconds apart late in the opening stanza to reclaim the lead at 4-3. Camille Dumais gained possession in the left circle and left the puck for Dobos, who charged the near post to score the visitor's third power-play goal of the game at 18:25. Kelly Foley gave the Big Green a 4-3 lead heading into the first intermission when she intercepted a pass at the high slot and fired a screened shot inside the right post.
In the second period, UNH awarded a penalty shot following a flurry in which Lascelle's shot was stopped by Holdcroft, Mork's shot ricocheted off the left post and a DC defenseman covered the puck in the crease. Lascelle skated down the slot, deked both left and right before finally pulling the puck left and lifting a backhander into the goal to complete the hat trick and tie the score, 4-4, at 4:38.
The visitors once again took the lead, 5-4, at 8:07 when Nanji converted Sally Komarek's pass into a goal.
Dartmouth took that 5-4 lead into the third period and extended it to 6-4 at 4:19 of the third period when Brittany Mills chipped a rebound over Gilligan, who had denied Dobos' initial shot from the slot.
UNH trimmed the deficit to 6-5 at 14:27 when Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) stole the puck behind the Big Green net, circled around the left post and backhanded a low shot under Holdcroft.
Dartmouth responded with a goal 66 seconds later to reestablish a two-goal advantage of 7-5. Foley led a 3-on-1 rush down the left wing and centered a pass to Fischer, who lifted a shot into the upper-right corner.
The Wildcats called time out at 1:06 and pulled Gilligan in favor of an extra skater with 49 seconds on the clock, but DC was able to clear the puck to the neutral zone, where Fischer sent a pass ahead to Foley, who slowly skated down the slot before depositing a shot into the goal at 19:33.
New Hampshire returns to action Jan. 10, 2012 (7 p.m.) at Boston College. The Wildcats' next home game is Jan. 13 (7 p.m.) against the University of Connecticut and those two teams face off again at the Whittemore Center on Jan. 14 (4 p.m.).