Kelly Paton scores game-winning goal for Wildcats

Kelly Paton scored the game-winning goal for UNH

DURHAM, N.H. - Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) scored a power-play goal with 7.2 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the third-ranked University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday night's 2-1 non-conference victory against Syracuse University at the Whittemore Center.

UNH is still perfect at 4-0-0 while the Orange fell to 0-3-1.

Paton finished the game with a goal and an assist to mark her 13th consecutive game with a point. Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) potted the other New Hampshire goal and Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) recorded an assist on both tallies.

UNH goaltender Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) finished with 20 saves and SU counterpart Lucy Schoedel, who was a freshman with the Wildcats in 2008, stopped 33 shots, including 13 in both the first and second periods.

Following a scoreless - and penalty-free - first period in which the Wildcats recorded a 13-8 shot advantage, the Orange took a 1-0 lead at 4:54 of the second stanza. Stefanie Marty, another Wildcat freshman in '08, was stuffed at the right post on a wraparound attempt. Julie Rising and Holly Carrie-Mattimoe crashed the front of the net to prevent Herman from covering the puck and Marty, who maneuvered to the left post, lifted the loose puck into the net.

The goal ended UNH's shutout streak at 183 minutes, 30 seconds. The Wildcats had not yielded a goal since early second-period action in the season opener vs. UConn.

New Hampshire trailed by that one goal at the start of the third period and called time out at 3:26, which was the start of its 5-on-3 power play advantage for 29 seconds. Immediately off the faceoff, Birchard fired a slap shot from the high slot, but Schoedel made the save and the Orange iced the puck to kill the remainder of the two-skater advantage.

SU was whistled for yet another infraction at 5:01, but the Orange defense once again kept UNH at bay to preserve the 1-0 advantage.

The Orange had an abbreviated power-play opportunity of 68 seconds at 7:01, but was outshot 2-0 in that span.

UNH pulled even, 1-1, on Long's power-play goal at 11:56. Birchard initiated the play with an outlet pass from the defensive zone to Paton on the left wing at mid-ice. Paton carried the puck into the circle and saucered a pass across to Long, who roofed a backhanded shot under the crossbar.

With 2:40 remaining, SU's Isabel Menard slipped behind the defense and skated down the slot. From close range, she shifted to her forehand but Herman extended her right leg pad to block the shot at the left post.

The Wildcats went on their sixth power play of the night at 18:40, and 30 seconds later Schoedel robbed Long, who was at the front doorstep to redirect a pass from the left corner by Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario).

Syracuse iced the puck and Herman left the puck for Birchard, who once again snapped a pass to Paton on the left wing at mid-ice. Paton once again carried the puck to the circle, but this time she snapped a high wrist shot into the net to give UNH a 2-1 lead.

The Wildcats finished 2-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill. UNH's penalty kill is perfect this season in 22 shorthanded situations.

New Hampshire continues its six-game homestand Oct. 17-18 against Niagara University. Both games begin at 2 p.m.