VELLA LIFTS PROVIDENCE PAST CONNECTICUT IN OVERTIME, 4-3
Senior forward Jessica Vella scores 2:45 into overtime for Friars
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team posted a 4-3 overtime win against the Connecticut Huskies on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Schneider Arena. With the season series sweep, the Friars record moves to 14-11-4 overall and 8-6-2 in Hockey East play.
After the first twenty minutes of play, neither the Friars nor the Huskies could find the back of the net. Providence ended the period outshooting Connecticut, 11-7. Friars netminder Sarah Bryant (Bethlehem, Pa.) stopped all 7 shots that she faced in the period and finished the game with 32 saves. Elaine Chuli recorded 33 saves in the overtime loss.
Senior Jessica Vella (Pickering, Ontario) opened the scoring in the game at :59 of the second period when her twelfth goal of the season gave the Friars a 1-0 lead. The play started when junior Rebecca Morse (Westfield, N.J.) connected a pass to senior Nicole Anderson (Jordan, Minn.). Anderson found Vella, who fired a shot to beat Chuli high.
The Huskies evened the score at one when Rachel Farrel put the puck past Bryant after a scramble in front of the Friars net. Sarah MacDonnell and Kayla Campero assisted on the goal that was scored at 3:56 of the second period. Connecticut gained the lead for the first time in the meeting later in the period at 12:23 when Campero fired a long shot into the top of the net as she was skating into the offensive zone.
Connecticut widened the lead to 3-1 at 2:34 of the third period when Maude Blain scored a power-play goal.
The Friars overcame the two goal deficit before the period ended with the help of goals by sophomore Haley Frade (Marion, Mass.) and sophomore Brooke Simpson (Boxboro, Mass.). Frade cut the Huskies lead in half when she capitalized on the man advantage at 5:16 of the third period. Freshman Molly Illikainen (Grand Rapids, Minn.) and freshman Lexi Slattery (Lino Lakes, Minn.) each tallied assists on the goal. At 17:15 of the third period, Providence evened the score at 3 when Simpson forced the puck into the net after a scramble in front of Chuli. Junior Corinne Buie (Edina, Minn.) got the helper on the game-tying goal.
After killing off a penalty for the first 1:38 of overtime, the Friars sealed their comeback win when Vella scored her second goal of the game. Providence earned their second overtime win of the season at 2:45 of overtime. Sophomore Beth Hanrahan (Poolesville, Md.) slid the puck to Illikainen, who was standing in the face-off circle. Illikainen passed the puck to Vella, who was placed right in front of the Huskies net. Vella tapped in the puck to give the Friars the win.
The Friars return to the ice next Saturday, Feb. 9 to complete their season series against Boston College at Schneider Arena at 7:00 p.m.