Niagara, N.Y. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team returned from their winter break with a 3-0 triumph over the Purple Eagles on Friday evening at Niagara University's Dwyer Arena. Two third period goals combined with the first period game-winner by senior Jenna Keilch (Clinton Township, Mich.) earned the Friar victory. Providence moves to 7-8-2 (4-2-1 HOCKEY EAST), while Niagara falls to 6-9-4 (0-2-0 CHA).
In the first period, the Purple Eagles earned an early five-on-three advantage, but junior goalkeeper Danielle Ciarletta (Blaine, Minn.), aided by a blocked shot at 17:25 by senior Kelli Doolin (Dorchester, Mass.), kept Niagara off the board. Ciarletta then made a right-pad save on Niagara's Ashley Riggs, who was in on a partial breakaway at 10:05. The Friars were the able to open the scoring at 14:33 when Keilch scored her second goal of the season off of an Erin Normore (Cambridge, Ont.) pass. Normore picked up the puck down low off of a rebounded shot taken by senior Rachel Crissy (Napperville, Ill.) and then took it behind the Niagara net and found Keilch open in front at the far side, where the junior converted on a one-timer.
In the second period Niagara almost levelled while on the power-play, as Riggs had another partial breakaway chance that required a Ciarletta glove save. In the ensuing scramble, the Purple Eagles gained possession, but their shot attempt was blocked by a diving Sarah Feldman (Fall River, Mass.) at the 9:50 mark. Cherie Hendrickson (Boxford, Mass.) almost doubled the Friar lead at 16:30 when she cut down through the slot and received a pass from Normore, but the senior winger's shot went just wide of the net.
In the third, the Friars added to their lead when Katy Beach (Cleveland, Ohio) scored after rebound in front of the Niagara net at 2:15. The goal was assisted by seniors Danielle Tangredi (London, Ontario) and Kathleen Smith (Waterloo, Ontario). Smith took a shot on net from the point that was saved, but then the puck was deflected by Tangredi to Beach who deposited a backhanded shot in the net. The Friars notched their third goal to break it open when Smith snuck in from the far point and recieved a pass through traffic from the near goal line from Crissy at 5:59. Stephanie Morris (S. Burlington, Vt.) also assisted on the play.
In net Ciarletta finished with 25 saves to earn her second shutout victory of the season, while Nikki Rudy and Jill Zelonis combined to make 27 saves for the Purple Eagles.
The Friars will once again face-off against the Purple Eagles on Saturday, January 5 at Dwyer Arena in Niagara, N.Y. The game will begin at 2:00 p.m.