Melissa Bourdon posts 18 saves in shutout victory

DURHAM, N.H. – Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) tied the school record with her 26th career shutout in an 18-save effort to lift the third-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team to Sunday afternoon’s 4-0 non-conference victory against fourth-ranked St. Lawrence University at the Whittemore Center.

UNH, now unbeaten in 29 consecutive home games at 26-0-3, is 10-1-1 overall this season. SLU, which skated to a 1-1 tie vs. the Wildcats on Saturday, is now 8-3-1.

Bourdon made nine of her 18 saves in the first period en route to her fifth shutout of the season. Her 26 shutouts stand as the NCAA record and are tied with Jen Huggon (2000-03) for the school benchmark.

UNH’s offense was led by Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario; career-high two goals), Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.; three assists) and Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland; one goal, one assist). Bellamy matched her career highs in both assists and points with the three assists.

The ‘Cats took an early 1-0 lead when Paton scored at 3:49 of the first period. Maggie Joyce (Norfolk, Mass.) carried the puck from the neutral zone to the left corner, where her centering pass found Paton between the faceoff circles. Paton’s low shot trickled between the legpads of SLU goalkeeper Meaghan Guckian (24 saves) into the net.

The Wildcats carried that one-goal advantage into the second period despite SLU’s 9-8 edge in shots.

The Saints began the second period on the power play and Tara Akstull, alone at the top of the crease, corralled a loose puck but was denied by Bourdon.

On SLU’s third power play of the game, UNH’s Paton scored a shorthanded goal to extend the lead to 2-0. Bellamy, from the right circle in the defensive zone, fired an outlet pass to Paton, who in turn eluded a pair of defenders to break down the slot alone and tuck a low shot inside the right post at 10:49.

New Hampshire took a 3-0 lead on a power-play goal by Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) with 24 seconds remaining in the second stanza. From the right circle, Bellamy moved the puck to Garland at the high slot, and her screened shot sailed inside the right post. Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) was also credited with an assist.

The ‘Cats generated an 11-3 shot advantage in the second period and led 3-0 heading into the final frame. Taylor netted the only goal of the third period with an even-strength goal off a shot from the low slot that she lifted under the crossbar at 5:47. Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.), with a quick centering pass from the right circle, and Bellamy set up the tally.

UNH finished the game 1-for-4 on the power play and went 2-for-7 in the two-game series vs. the Saints. SLU, which entered the weekend with the fifth-ranked offense and second-ranked power play, scored just one goal in the series and went 1-for-12 on the power play.

New Hampshire continues its seven-game homestand Nov. 17 (7 p.m.) vs. Northeastern University. UNH and the Huskies also face off Nov. 18 (2 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center.