DURHAM, N.H. – Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) scored two goals, including the game-winning tally at 2:25 of overtime, to lift the second-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Saturday night’s 4-3 victory against Niagara University at the Whittemore Center.
UNH improved to 2-0-0 and extended its home unbeaten streak to 26 games (22-0-4) while Niagara lost for the 10th straight time to the Wildcats to fall to 0-2-0 on the season.
Faber maneuvered past the defense in the slot and wristed a close- range shot under the crossbar to end the game. Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) was credited with an assist on the tally.
UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) made 11 saves, none of which came after the second intermission. Niagara counterpart Allison Rutledge stopped 38 shots, including 16 in the middle stanza.
Niagara, which lost 5-0 to the ‘Cats on Friday night, took an early 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Melanie Mills at 2:53; that proved to be the only power-play goal of the night despite a total of 23 penalties and 21 power play opportunities between the two teams.
UNH had a quick reply, however, as Steph Holmes (Rye, N.Y.) scored her first career goal off a feed from fellow rookie Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) at 5:34.
The Purple Eagles regained the lead, 2-1, on Charde Hoyle-Levy’s strike at 15:46 and they took that one-goal advantage into the locker room.
The Wildcats took a 3-2 lead on consecutive goals by Shannon Clement (Sault Ste Marie, Ontario) and Faber. Clement, with the assistance of Nicole Hekle (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario), tied the score 2-2 at 2:30. Faber gave the ‘Cats their first lead of the night at 11:10; Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) and Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) were credited with assists.
Niagara pulled even, 3-3, just 61 seconds later on a goal by Chelsea Donovan.
UNH could not break the deadlock in the third period despite a 12-0 shot advantage.
New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 6 vs. Bemidji State at the University of Minnesota’s Ridder Arena. The next Wildcats’ home game is Oct. 20 (7 p.m.) vs. Brown.