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Providence, R.I. (January 31, 2009) - The Providence College women's hockey team came away with a 5-1 victory over No. 8 Connecticut as five different players found the back of the net for PC. Erin Normore (Cambridge, Ont.) notched a goal and an assist on the power-play while Genevieve Lacasse (Scarborough, Ont.) stopped 34 shots to lead the Friars. The Friars now stand at 15-10-2 (10-3-1 HE) while UConn falls to 17-8-2 (9-5-0). With a victory over UConn tomorrow, the Friars will move into a tie for first place in Hockey East with New Hampshire.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the first due to a mixture of great goaltending and a spot of good fortune for the Friars. PC's best chance of the initial period came at 6:06 when Laura Veharanta (La Verne, Calif.) snapped a shot from the right faceoff circle. The rebound fell in front but Alyse Ruff's (Tualatin, Ore.) follow up bid was denied by UConn netminder Brittany Wilson.
The Huskies nearly opened the scoring at 13:01 as Michelle Binning came through the PC zone and let a wrist shot go from the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Lacasse caught a piece of the shot as the puck rang off the crossbar. At the end of one period, both goalies had stopped 10 shots to keep the game scoreless.
The Friars would come out of the locker room with a noticeable increase in intensity. The added pressure would pay off just 41 seconds in during a penalty carried over from the first period. With the man advantage, Normore sent a pass across the blue line to captain Brittany Simpson (Barrie, Ontario) on the right wall. Simpson sent the puck into the path of freshman Ashley Cottrell (Sterling Heights, Mich.) in the right faceoff circle. Cottrell took a quick stride and fired a wrist shot that beat Wilson over the right shoulder for her fifth goal of the season. Normore and Simpson earned their 14th and 10th assists on the year.
PC would strike again at 2:44 when junior Pamela McDevitt (South Boston, Mass.) put a shot on frame from the right side of the net. After a scramble in front, senior Steph Morris (South Burlington, Vt.) was able to poke home the loose puck for her first goal of the season. Just five minutes later Katy Beach (Cleveland, Ohio) beat her defender down the left wall before putting a shot into the pads of Wilson. The rebound fell in front where Jean O'Neill (Strafford, Pa.) was able to put a backhanded shot into the net in a replica of her goal against BU in the Friars' last contest. The goal was her fourth of the season while Beach earned her eighth assist. Freshman Abby Gauthier (Lynn, Mass.) registered her fifth assist on the play as the Friars went up, 3-0.
UConn would close the gap to two (3-1) at 13:42 when Amy Hollstein redirected a shot from the point by Jody Sydor for her 11th goal. The Huskies would be denied the rest of the game as Lacasse would deny 13 third period shots. At the end of two, The Friars held the advantage in shots, 27-22.
Normore would put PC up three again at 13:20 after a set of crisp passes on the power-play. Veharanta collected the puck in the lower right corner before sending a pass behind the net to Ruff. Ruff looked up and found Normore streaking through the slot as the senior assistant captain put the puck into the right side of the net for her sixth goal of the season. Ruff and Veharanta earned their sixth and 13th assists on the play.
PC would add another insurance goal to go finish the scoring at 5-1 as Mari Pehkonen (Tampere, Finland) put in an empty-net goal at 15:39. Jennifer Friedman (San Gabriel, Calif.) and Veharanta each earned an assist on the play.
Lacasse finished the game with 34 saves to improve her record to 13-7-0. The freshman netminder continues to excel for the Friars in Hockey East action as she has allowed one goal or less in seven of the last eight conference contests. Wilson stopped 29 shots but sees her overall record fall to 13-5-1.
The two teams will finish the season series at UConn tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.