Itech First Star Sam Faber posts three assists for Wildcats

DURHAM, N.H. – Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) and Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland) both scored two goals and Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) recorded three assists to propel the third-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon’s 5-1 Hockey East victory against Northeastern University at the Whittemore Center.

UNH improved to 12-1-1 overall and 5-1-1 in Hockey East by extending its home unbeaten streak to 31 games (27-0-4). Northeastern, which has lost 17 straight games to the Wildcats, is now 2-10-1, 1-6-1.

The Wildcats opened the game scoring at 11:01 of the first period on a shorthanded goal by Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario), who has now scored a goal in four consecutive games. Paton’s goal from the top of the crease was set up by Faber.

The Huskies, who fell behind 4-0 in the first period of Friday’s game vs. the ‘Cats, responded with a power-play goal by Nikki Petrich at 12:22, which was 15 seconds after a 12-second 5-on-3 skater advantage expired. Crystal Rochon was credited with an assist on the play.

New Hampshire regained the lead, 2-1, at 16:20 of the opening stanza. Taylor, with the assistance of Wright-Ward and Faber, extended her goal-scoring streak to three games with that tally.

UNH took that 2-1 lead and a 13-4 shot advantage into the first intermission. NU goaltender Sarah Bellieveau, who recorded double digits in saves in every period (11-12-12) to finish with 35, held the Huskies within one goal until Hitchcock scored off a rebound at the left post at 16:51 of the second period – four seconds after UNH’s power play ended. Wright-Ward, with a shot from the left point, and Faber, with a shot in the low slot, set up the goal.

Hitchcock struck again with 15 seconds remaining in the stanza when her shot from the right circle hit the upper-right corner of the net. Maggie Joyce (Norfolk, Mass.) found Hitchcock curling out of the corner to set up the goal.

Taylor recorded the first multiple-goal game of her career at 17:51 of the third period when she redirected a shot from the right point by Courtney Sheary (Melrose, Mass.) into the net. The assist was Sheary’s first career point, and Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) was also credited with an assist.

UNH goaltender Brittany Busa (Concord, Mass.) recorded seven saves in her first start of the season.

New Hampshire returns to action Thanksgiving weekend in the UNH Tournament, which features three nationally-ranked teams. Tourney play opens Nov. 24 with 10th-ranked Boston College facing off against No. 2 Mercyhurst College at 4 p.m. The Wildcats take the ice against Wayne State University at 7 p.m. The UNH Tournament concludes Nov. 25 with BC vs. Wayne State (4 p.m.) and MC vs. UNH (7 p.m.).