MORK'S TWO POINTS PROPEL NEW HAMPSHIRE PAST PROVIDENCE, 4-2
Junior forward Kayla Mork registers goal and assist for Wildcats
DURHAM, N.H. - Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.) recorded a goal and an assist to lead the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Thursday night's 4-2 come-from-behind victory against Providence College at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which scored twice in both the second and third periods to erase a two-goal deficit, improved to 6-4-1 overall and 2-2-1 in Hockey East while PC fell to 4-7-0, 1-4-0.
Hannah Armstrong (Keswick, Onario) ignited the comeback with a shortanded goal -- the Wildcats first of the season. Jess Ryan (Cloquet, Minn.) scored the game-winning goal and Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) potted an empty-net goal to secure the victory.
Vilma Vaattovaara (Veikkola, Finland) finished with 28 saves, including 11 in the first period and 10 in the second. PC counterpart Sarah Bryant was credited with 19 saves.
The Friars notched the game's first goal at 8:06 in the opening period. The Wildcat defense attempted to clear the zone as the puck slid near the crease. However, the defender misplayed the puck. Courtney Kukowski was advantageous of the defensive error, shooting it by Vaattovaara's left pad for the opening goal.
Sarah Bryant doubled the Friars lead with 5:02 remaining in the first period on an even strength goal. Providence pushed the puck up the ice as Rebecca Morse saucered the pass to Britt Thunstrom. Beth Hanrahan was the recipient of the Thunstrom pass as she was able to one-time the puck in the net.
Entering the second period down two goals, as well as 13-5 in shots, UNH was able to bring the game to even terms.
Armstrong cut the Wildcats' deficit in half on a shorthanded opportunity. UNH was able to overcome a slashing call as New Hampshire cleared the zone. Armstrong skated down the ice on the forecheck, pressuring Bryant to distribute the puck. However, a passing mishap allowed Armstrong to corral the loose puck and bank a shot off the netminder for the goal at 9:09.
At 19 minutes, the Wildcats were able to connect on their last scoring chance before second intermission. Jessica Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) fired a shot from the right point, forcing Bryant to make a pad save. The puck then was deposited to Mork, who netted her second goal of the season. Brittney Redlick (Biggar, Saskatchewan) was credited with her first career assist.
Ryan registered the go-ahead at 12:12 of the third period to give the Wildcats a 3-2 advantage. Initially, Ryan fired a puck from the left side of the blue line. Bryant came up with the stop as the puck bounced in the middle of the offensive zone. Mork jousted the puck to an open Ryan roaming around the blue line. The defensemen skated around the Providence defense and fired a shot past the glove side of Bryant to give UNH its first lead of the game.
PC pulled Bryant in favor of an extra skater with 76 seconds remaining in regulation but was unable to sustain offensive pressure. Megan Armstrong (Edina, Minn.) cleared the puck to the neutral zone and Gifford snapped a shot from the center ice faceoff dot into the open net with 14.8 seconds on the clock to close the scoring.
The 'Cats tallied a 10-7 shot advantage in the third period but the visitors recorded the 30-23 edge overall. Both teams finished 0-for-7 on the power play.
New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 10 (2 p.m.) at the University of Vermont. The Wildcats' next home game is Nov. 24 (2 p.m.) against Boston University.