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DURHAM, N.H. - Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) scored a goal with three seconds remaining in overtime to lift the top-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 3-2 Hockey East victory against Boston University at the Whittemore Center.
UNH won its fifth consecutive game and completed the three-game season-series sweep of BU to improve to 14-2-0 overall and 8-0-0 in Hockey East. BU is now 3-9-2 overall with a 0-6-1 record against nationally-ranked teams and a 1-3-0 league mark.
New Hampshire controlled possession through most of the extra session but the Terriers' defense kept the Wildcats on the perimeter and had yielded just one shot when they cleared the puck with 10 seconds remaining. Just as a tie seemed imminent, Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) fired a pass from blue line to blue line to Hitchcock and she entered the offensive zone at the right point. With Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) drawing the defender by charging the net, Hitchcock's shot from the inner-half of the right circle went between the leg pads of BU goaltender Allyse Wilcox and into the net at 4:57 of OT.
Wilcox tallied double-digit saves in all three periods of regulation (15-12-13) and one in overtime to finish with 41. UNH goalie Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) made eight saves, including one in OT.
Trailing 2-1 at the second intermission despite holding a 28-6 shot advantage, UNH tied the score at 4:33 of the third period. Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) charged through the slot and fired a shot that was stopped by Wilcox, but Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) crashed the net, collected the puck at the top of the crease and skated to the left post to create a shot into the open net for the game-tying goal. Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) was also credited with an assist.
The Terriers nearly had an immediate response as less than one minute later Caroline Bourdeau's bid from the left circle was stopped by Herman, then Jonnie Bloemer’s shot off the rebound trickled wide of the right post.
Midway through the stanza, Stefanie Marty (Nussbaumen, Switzerland) fended off a defender in the slot but was turned aside by Wilcox. Wright-Ward charged into the slot for the rebound and pushed a shot wide right of the cage.
Minutes later, Long generated a shorthanded bid when she intercepted a pass in the neutral zone and carried the puck down the left side of the slot. Wilcox maintained her position and stoned Long’s attempt at the left post.
The Terriers then had a 5x3 power play for 31 seconds but did not register a shot on goal during that two-skater advantage. Their remaining 5x4 power-play opportunity was cut short when they were whistled for tripping at 15:02. The Wildcats then went on the power play and Wilcox once again preserved the tie when she stymied Hitchcock on her quick shot from the slot and moments later stopped Garland’s blast from the left circle.
In the first period, UNH controlled play early but could not get a shot past Wilcox. Midway through the stanza, BU generated a quick attack in which Gina Kearn's shot from the top of the left circle was deflected on Herman by Laurel Koller, who stayed with the play and lifted the rebound into the net at 11:38. Jenn Arms was also credited with an assist.
The 'Cats, who trailed 1-0 at the first intermission despite a 15-3 shot advantage, came out strong in the second period. Wilcox was equally as strong, however, as she denied Faber's one-timer from close range with a right leg pad save. Less than a minute later, Wilcox turned aside Maggie Joyce's (Hudson, Ohio) screened shot from the high slot and Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) off that rebound.
UNH finally pulled even, 1-1, on Wright-Ward's tally at 6:20 of the second period when she redirected the initial shot from the high slot by Nicole Goguen (Truro, Nova Scotia) into the net. Julia Marty (Nussbaumen, Switzerland), with the pass to Goguen from the left point, initiated the scoring sequence.
Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) was stopped from close range on a shorthanded 2-on-1 rush nine minutes into the stanza and BU called time out at 11:02.
The Terriers killed off UNH's second power play of the game late in the stanza and utilized that momentum to retake the lead, 2-1, at 18:09. Jillian Kirchner carried the puck into the left circle and executed a centering pass to Lauren Cherewyk, whose shot from the slot sailed inside the left post.
UNH, which concluded its eight-game homestand with a 7-1-0 record that included a sweep of then No. 1 University of Wisconsin, went 0-for-3 on the power play. BU was scoreless in four power-play chances.
New Hampshire returns to action Dec. 2 (4 p.m.) at Northeastern University. The Wildcats' next home game is Dec. 14 (7 p.m.) against second-ranked Harvard University. Tickets are available online at www.unhwildcats.com and videostreaming is available at UNHwildcats.tv.