Vaattovaara Makes 20 Saves As New Hampshire Shuts Out Penn State, 2-0
Junior goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara makes 20 saves to earn third shutout of season for Wildcats

Junior goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara makes 20 saves for Wildcats
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
2nd 10:26  UNH1-0 EV GW Nicoline Jensen (4) -
3rd 19:47  UNH2-0 EV EN Jonna Curtis (10) -
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Penn State  0000
New Hampshire  0112
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
Penn State  103720
New Hampshire  10131134
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Penn State (12-10-3)  0/6 4/8 0
New Hampshire (7-16-1)  0/3 7/14 0
Penn State Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Hannah Ehresmann (L, 4-5-3)58:571 10121032
Empty Net1:031     
New Hampshire Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Vilma Vaattovaara (W, 6-13-1)60:000 103720

DURHAM, N.H. - Vilma Vaattovaara (Veikkola, Finland) recorded 20 saves to backbone the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Friday night's 2-0 non-conference victory against Penn State University at the Whittemore Center.

UNH, which swept last year's two-game series at Penn State, extended its win streak to three games to improve to 7-16-1. The Nittany Lions, who also entered the game with two consecutive wins, is now 12-10-3.

Vaattovaara recorded 10 of her 20 saves in the first period and with five saves on three PSU power plays, including three during a 5-on-3 power play spanning 97 seconds. It marked the third shutout of both the season and career for Vaattovaara, the reigning Hockey East co-Defensive Player of the Week.

Nicoline Jensen (Rodovre, Denmark) netted an unassisted goal midway through the second stanza and Jonna Curtis (Elk River, Minn.) scored an unassisted empty-net goal with 13 seconds remaining in regulation to secure the victory. Each player extended her point streak to three games.

PSU goaltender Hannah Ehresmann recorded double-digit saves all three periods (10-12-10) to finish with 32 overall.

Vaattovaara kept the game scoreless by denying a pair of PSU breakaway chances in the opening thee minutes of the game. Less than 90 seconds after the opening faceoff, Hannah Bramm's outlet pass from the defensive zone sprung Caitlin Reilly alone down the slot. Reilly fired from close range but was stoned by Vaattovaara. One minute later, the Wildcats turned the puck over just outside their defensive blue line. Laura Bowman gained possession and skated down the slot. She maneuvered toward the right post but Vaattovaara mirrored her to make the save.

The Wildcats went on a parade to the penalty box with tripping infractions at 11:38 and 12:02 to give the visitors a 5-on-3 power play for 97 seconds. At the left doorstep, Bowman poked a shot into Vaattovaara, pulled out the rebound and circled behind the net but the UNH netminder slid across the crease to once again deny Bowman at the right post. Moments later, Bowman was once again turned aside at the left doorstep.

New Hampshire's penalty kill was effective the rest of the two-skater advantage and did not allow a shot the remaining 24 seconds of the 5-on-4 power play. The referee's hand was raised in the air before the second tripping penalty expired, however, and Penn State went back on the power play at 14:04 - just two seconds after returning to full strength.

PSU power play, which entered the game ranked No. 8 in the nation with a 21.0 percent success rate, was stymied by UNH's defense and was held without a shot during that skater advantage.

UNH found itself shorthanded a fourth time in the opening period because of a hooking minor at 19:10. Vaattovaara stopped two shots off Reilly's stick the remainder of the frame and the teams entered the first intermission scoreless at 10 shots apiece.

The Wildcats' penalty kill was once again stout at the start of the second period and did not yield a shot the remaining 70 seconds of the Penn State power play.

New Hampshire began to gain momentum offensively and went on its second power play of the game at 3:05. Ehresmann recorded saves against Hannah Armstrong (Keswick, Onario) and Haley Breedlove (Plano, Texas) to keep the game scoreless. In the next two minutes she also turned away bids by Jensen and Amy Schlagel (Blaine, Minn.).

In the ninth minute, Amy Boucher (Edmonton, Alberta) gloved down an attempted clear to keep the puck in UNH's offensive zone in the high slot. She quickly attacked toward the right post and wristed a shot off the right post.

Jensen gave the 'Cats a 1-0 lead at 10:26. She gained possession in the neutral zone and looped around the center-ice circle before rushing down the slot with one defender slightly trailing. As Jensen approached the low slot, she shifted to her forehand and tucked a shot inside the open left side of the net.

UNH recorded a 13-3 shot advantage in the second stanza.

The Wildcats almost extended their lead to two goals at 1:45 of the third period. From deep on the left wing, Cassandra Vilgrain (Calgary, Alberta) snapped a pass back to the right point and Caroline Broderick (Marblehead, Mass.) one-timed a hard slapshot that Ehresmann blocked down and covered.

Less than two minutes later at the other end of the ice, Hannah Hoenshell led a rush down the right wing and her shot was stopped by Vaattovaara. The rebound went to the slot, but Shannon Yoxheimer's stick was tied up by a Wildcat and that forced her shot to sail wide left.

With the teams skating 4-on-4 midway through the third, Vaattovaara stoned Bramm in front and then Remi Martin off the rebound.

Penn State went on its sixth power play at 12:50, but the Wildcats' penalty kill unit generated better scoring chances and outshot the Nittany Lions 2-0 in that two-minute span. Armstrong initiated the first scoring chance with a diagonal pass through the neutral zone that sprung Boucher down the left wing. Boucher advanced with speed through the circle but Ehresmann snared the shot.

Curtis won the ensuing faceoff and Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.) ripped a shot from the slot that ricocheted off Ehresmann's left shoulder and the right post.

PSU pulled Ehresmann in favor of an extra skater with 1:11 on the clock and UNH was whistled for icing with 41.7 seconds to play. After calling their timeout, the 'Cats cleared the puck into the neutral zone with 32 ticks remaining.

The Nittany Lions recoiled and reenterd the offensive zone five seconds later. The visitors cycled the puck to set up a shot by Kelly Seward in the high slot. Curtis blocked the shot, however, and continued into the neutral zone to corral the loose puck for a breakaway toward the empty net. She carried the puck the length of the ice before pushing a shot into the cage for her team-leading 10th goal of the season and a 2-0 lead at 19:47.

The 'Cats recorded an 11-7 shot advantage in the final frame. UNH was scoreless on three power plays and PSU went 0-for-6 on the power play.

New Hampshire and Penn State conclude the two-game series Jan. 24 (2 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center.