Shannon Clement registers three goals and an assist for Wildcats

New Hampshire’s Shannon Clement scored three goals and added an assist as the No. 4 UNH Wildcats (21-3-4, 13-1-1 Hockey East) defeated the Northeastern women’s hockey team (3-24-2, 2-14-2 Hockey East) on Saturday afternoon at Matthews Arena.

The Wildcats got on the board first at the 8:18 mark of the first period. After Courtney Sheary and Nicole Hekle got the puck into the Husky zone, Jennifer Hitchcock skated behind the NU net and came out to the right of NU freshman goaltender Sydney Arbelbide before sliding a backhander into the net. The goal was Hitchcock’s team-leading 21st tally of the season.

In the second period, New Hampshire held a 16-2 shot advantage and scored four times to take a five-goal lead into the third period. Leah Craig began the scoring 29 seconds into the second frame, taking a Hitchcock pass from behind the goal line and sliding the puck under Arbelbide’s pads.

Later in the period, the Wildcats scored three goals in 3:21 to enter the third period with a big lead. At the 12:46 mark, Hitchcock scored her second of the game when she tipped home a shot from the blue line by Martine Garland. Forty seconds later, Clement took a pass from the side boards off the stick of Angela Taylor and found the back of the net. Clement then scored her second of the period after receiving a pass from Jackie Wedster in front of the NU net.

Senior Ashley Bielawski had the Huskies’ best chance of the period to notch a goal, as she broke in alone on Melissa Bourdon from the left side of the ice. Bielawski made a nice move across the crease past a sprawling Bourdon, but her shot caromed off the inside of the right post and came back out. The ensuing scramble in front of the net could not get the puck in the net for the Huskies.

UNH controlled play in the third period, scoring four more times to account for the final score. Just over three minutes into the final stanza, Sadie Wright-Ward recorded her 100th career point with her fourth tally of the season. Then, after goals by Garland and Micaela Long, Clement completed her hat trick with 54 seconds in regulation.

UNH outshot the Huskies by a 40-10 margin, forcing Arbelbide to make 24 before she was replaced by junior Sarah Belliveau, who made seven saves on eight shots. Melissa Bourdon stopped all 10 shots she faced for the Wildcats.

The Huskies return to the ice on Tuesday, when the Huskies take on the Harvard Crimson in the consolation game of the 29th Annual Women’s Beanpot Tournament at BC’s Conte Forum beginning at 5 p.m. The game will mark only the second time that neither NU nor Harvard is represented in the Women’s Beanpot title game.