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Providence, R.I. (January 10, 2009) - The Providence College women's hockey team put on a dominant performance by blanking #6 New Hampshire, 5-0. Five players scored for Providence and freshman Genevieve Lacasse (Scarborough, Ontario) made 43 saves to earn her third shutout of the season. With the win, PC leaps UNH in the Hockey East standings and now stands at third in the conference. The Friars improve to 11-8-2 (6-2-1 HE). The Wildcats fall to 9-5-5 (5-2-3 HE).
In their first home game since November 22, Providence was able defeat UNH for the first time since February 27, 2005. The Friars had gone 0-9-2 in the last 11 games against the Wildcats before today's performance. The senior class earned their first victory over UNH as all five skaters in the class of 2009 found their way onto the score sheet.
UNH came out in their first contest in over a month and put the pressure on PC immediately. The Friars took two penalties in the first three minutes and successfully killed a five-on-three for 20 seconds. UNH outshot PC, 19-8, in the first but Providence found the back of the net midway through the period. Less than a minute into a power-play, freshman Ashley Cottrell (Sterling Heights, Mich.) gained possession of the puck in the left corner of the UNH zone. Cottrell sent a pass to classmate Jennifer Friedman (San Gabriel, Calif.) at the blue line. At 10:15, Friedman collected the pass and her slap shot found the left side of the net for her first-career goal. Cottrell earned her team-leading 13th assist of the season.
As the second period began, Lacasse made one of many spectacular saves. At 19:28, a UNH skater came in all alone on Lacasse and made two quick moves but was denied by the outstretched right pad of the freshman netminder. Providence would extend their lead at 7:56 of the period as the Friars came into the UNH zone with a three-on-two advantage. Sophomore Alyse Ruff (Tualatin, Ore.) fed freshman Laura Veharanta (La Verne, Calif.) as they crossed the blue line. Veharanta found captain Brittany Simpson (Barrie, Ontario) streaking down the left slot. The two players exchanged passes before Simpson slid the puck past the left pad of the UNH netminder for her second goal of the year. Ruff and Veharanta earned their third and ninth assists, respectively.
The two teams would exchange chances, but the period would end with PC ahead, 2-0. After 40 minutes of action, Lacasse had 31 saves compared to 22 by UNH's Kayley Herman.
Providence would increase their lead to 3-0 at 9:16 of the third. After a strong fore-check, freshman Kate Bacon (Chanhassen, Minn.) dispossessed a UNH defender and was able to make a quick move and slide the puck through the five-hole for her fifth goal. Providence would continue the offensive attack as Mari Pehkonen (Tampere, Finland) slammed home a rebound at 14:00 after a shot from Veharanta. The power-play goal, her fifth of the season, was assisted by classmate Erin Normore (Cambridge, Ontario). The assists were the 10th and 11th for Veharanta and Normore.
The two remaining senior skaters would contribute in the games final goal. At 18:15, during a delayed penalty, senior Katy Beach (Cleveland, Ohio) came on as the extra attacker and tallied her sixth goal of the year as she received a pass in the high slot from classmate Steph Morris (South Burlington, Vt.). Morris earned her first point of the season with the assist. Junior Arianna Rigano (Malden, Mass.) registered her second helper of the year on the play as well.
The five goal margin was the largest ever for a PC victory in the long-storied history of the two teams. The offensive explosion took the attention away from another brilliant performance by Lacasse. The Hockey East Rookie of the Month for November finished with 43 saves, her second-highest total of the season. Her third shutout puts her conference record at 5-1. The sensational freshman has only given up six goals in Hockey East action.
PC will look to build off this victory over a ranked opponent, the first of the season, as they travel to take on #7 Dartmouth on Tuesday, January 13. The game begins at 7:00 p.m. in Thompson Arena.