Jennifer Hitchcock scores twice in third period for UNH

DURHAM, N.H. – Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) scored two third-period goals to lift the top-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team to Friday night’s 2-1 Hockey East victory against 10th-ranked Boston College at the Whittemore Center.

UNH extended its regular-season win streak to 22 games and its regular-season unbeaten streak to 34 games (33-0-1) by improving to 8-0-0 overall and 2-0-0 in Hockey East this season. The Wildcats also extended their home win streak to 20 games and are unbeaten at the Whittemore Center in 26 games (23-0-3). BC, the last team to defeat the ‘Cats in the regular season (3-2 in overtime; Nov. 5, 2005), is now 4-1-1, 1-1-0.

The Eagles took a 1-0 lead at 17:05 of the first period. Anna McDonald was tied up in the low slot, but eventually broke free and jammed the puck into the net. Kelli Stack and Meghan Fardelmann were credited with assists.

Despite generating an 11-5 shot advantage in the first period, UNH trailed 1-0 at the first intermission. The Wildcats outshot the Eagles 12-2 in the middle stanza, but went 0-for-3 on the power play for the second consecutive period and trailed by that one-goal deficit after 40 minutes.

New Hampshire continued to generate dangerous scoring chances in the third period and called time out with 6:33 remaining in the period and 1:15 left on its eighth power play of the game. Hitchcock pulled the ‘Cats even at 14:17 – 50 seconds after the timeout – when Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) made a centering pass from behind the net to Hitchcock in the low slot. Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) initiated the sequence with a pass to Faber from the left corner.

Three minutes later, Faber’s pass through the neutral zone sprung Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) on a breakaway, but her shot from the slot caromed off Schaus’ right shoulder over the net.

The ‘Cats kept the puck in the offensive zone, however, and moments later took a 2-1 lead at 17:47. The initial shot by Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) was blocked by an Eagle defenseman but Faber was in front and fired a shot into Schaus. Hitchcock, standing at the right post, was then denied on her first attempt but a second whack at the puck pushed it across the goal line.

BC called time out at that point and pulled Schaus with 1:46 remaining. UNH was effective at keeping the puck in the perimeter and disrupting the Eagles’ attack until finally a last-second shot by Becky Zavisza from a crowd in the slot was stopped by Wildcats’ goalie Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) to preserve the win.

Bourdon finished with 15 saves, nine of which came in the third period. Schaus recorded double digits in saves every period with 11-12-10 for a total of 33.

UNH returns to action Oct. 29 at home vs. Boston University (6-0-0, 2-0-0). Game time at the Whittemore Center is 2 p.m.