Providence sweeps Niagara with 4-0 victory
Kathleen Smith and Jean O'Neill each notch two assists for the Friars

Kathleen Smith had two assist for Providence

Niagara, N.Y. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team faced-off against Niagara University, and for the second straight day the Friars earned a shutout victory, this time 4-0, at Dwyer Arena. Erin Normore (Cambridge, Ontario) put the Friars up 1-0 just 20 seconds into the game, and Danielle Ciarletta (Blaine, Minn.) was able to turn aside 15 Purple Eagles shots to propel the Friars to the victory. With the win, Providence improves to 8-8-2 (4-2-1 HOCKEY EAST), while Niagara falls to 6-10-4 (0-2-0 CHA).

Just 20 seconds into the game Normore gave the Friars a 1-0 lead as she fired a one-timer from the point to beat Niagara goaltender Nikki Rudy high to the stick side. Senior Kathleen Smith (Waterloo, Ontario) was credited with an assist on the play. The Purple Eagles almost scored on their first shot on goal as well, as Marie Henriksen found herself alone in front, but Ciarletta was able to make a right pad save at 2:40. The Friars doubled their lead at the 14:35 mark when senior Rachel Crissy (Napperville, Ill.) notched her second goal of the season, with assists going to Pamela McDevitt (S. Boston, Mass.) and Jean O'Neill (Strafford, Pa.). O'Neill created the scoring chance when she beat the Niagara defense into the zone on the forecheck and played the puck from the corner to the front of the net where McDevitt poked it in on goal, and Crissy scored on the rebound.

The Friars continued to pressure Niagara in the second period. At 4:22 they struck for their third goal as the Friar forecheck created another turnover, allowing Smith to send it in on net where Katy Beach (Cleveland, Ohio) jammed the rebound past new Purple Eagle goaltender Jill Zelonis for her second goal in as many games.

The Friars controlled the game in the third period as well and closed out the game's scoring at the 7:00 mark when Alyse Ruff (Tualatin, Ore.) scored her team leading tenth goal of the season, with assists going to O'Neill and senior Cherie Hendrickson (Boxford, Mass.).

In net Ciarletta finished with 15 saves to earn her second straight shutout victory for the Friars. Overall, Ciarletta has not been scored upon in her last 150:05 of play in the Friar cage. Rudy, Zelonis and Amanda Rowe combined to make 27 saves for the Purple Eagles.

The Friars return to action next weekend as they host Mercyhurst College for a two-game series at Schneider Arena in Providence, R.I. The first game, on Saturday, January 12, will begin at 2:00 p.m.