PROVIDENCE, R.I. - No. 9 Providence College women's hockey defeated No. 3 UNH (13-4-4, 7-3-1 HE) by a score of 3-2 in Schneider Arena today. Sophomore Jennifer Friedman (San Gabriel, Calif.) fired home the game winner at the end of the second period to put Providence (10-7-8, 6-3-4-2 HE) ahead, 3-1. Sophomore Genevieve Lacasse (Scarborough, Ontario) made 21 saves in net.
After the two teams exchanged goals early in the second period to make it 2-1 Providence, PC defender Jennifer Friedman let loose a rocket into the top right corner to put the Friars ahead for good. UNH would tally a goal in the third to make it 3-2 but Lacasse made nine third-period saves to preserve the victory. Coach Bob Deraney earned his 200th career victory with the win as the Friars swept UNH in the regular-season series for only the second time in program history and the first since 1983-84.
Providence opened the scoring with a power-play goal from Alyse Ruff (Tualatin, Ore.) at 19:20 of the first period. Junior Jean O'Neill (Strafford, Pa.) sent a pass from the left corner to freshman Jessica Vella (Pickering, Ontario) in the slot. Vella pushed the puck to her right where Ruff one-timed the puck into the right side of the net for her ninth goal of the season.
UNH held a slight edge in shots, 6-5, but the Friars went into the locker room holding a 1-0 lead.
UNH came out for the second and evened the score when Hockey East's leading scorer Kelly Paton beat Lacasse with a power-play goal at 5:16. After receiving a pass from Kristina Lavoie at the PC blue line, Paton put a snap shot just past Lacasse's blocker and into the left side of the cage.
Providence would regain the lead at 12:15 when senior Arianna Rigano (Malden, Mass.) took a drop pass from classmate Jackie Duncan (Kitchener, Ontario) in the slot and deked to her forehand before sliding the puck through the five-hole of UNH goaltender Kayley Herman. The goal was Rigano's fifth of the season while Duncan earned her third assist on the play. Sophomore Kate Bacon (Chanhassen, Minn.) started the play with an aggressive fore-check that created a turnover in the UNH defensive zone.
Friedman would put home her second goal of the season at 16:56 as the Friars outshot UNH in the second period, 20-8.
UNH closed the gap to 3-2 when Kristina Lavoie beat Lacasse low at 4:38 of the third but neither team would score the rest of the period as Providence held on for the victory.
After today's game, Providence now owns an eight-game unbeaten streak (6-0-2), the longest such streak since the Friars went 10-0 to close out the 2002-03 season.
Providence is in action next with a home-and-home series against Boston College. PC will travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass. for game one on Saturday, January 23 with the Eagles coming to Providence to finish the season series on Sunday, January 24. Both games will start at 2:00 p.m. Providence will host its Skating Strides game on Sunday to benefit breast cancer awareness. All proceeds from the game will go to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.