Junior forward Laura Veharanta scores two goals for Friars

Junior forward Laura Veharanta scored two goals for the Friars

EAST HARTFORD, CONN. - The ninth-ranked Providence College women's hockey team defeated UConn, 4-3, Sunday outside at Rentschler Field, earning the victory in the program's first ever outdoor game.

The contest was part of the Whalers Hockey Fest activities, two week's worth of outdoor games to celebrate Hockey in the state of Connecticut. The Friars were selected as one of the opponents for a UConn men's and women's hockey double header.

Providence received two goals from junior Laura Veharanta (La Verne, Calif.), including the eventual game-winner.

The Friars jumped on top midway through the first. At the 8:56, junior Jen Friedman (San Gabriel, Calif.) fired a slapshot from the right point through a screen and home for her sixth of the year.

The second period saw a flurry of goals, starting with the Friars taking a 2-0 edge at the 2:26. Junior Ashley Cottrell (Sterling Heights, Mich.) converted from the slot after brilliant passes on the rush from senior Jean O'Neill (Strafford, Pa.) and Corinne Buie (Edina, Minn.).

Connecticut answered with goals from Maude Blain and Jenny Saxon to knot the game, 2-2.

Enter Veharanta. The winger converted her first strike on a wraparound at 15:33 of the middle period. Two minutes and six seconds later, Veharanta netted the eventual game winger from nearly a 90-degree angle on the left of the crease, going top shelf for her 10th of the year and a 4-2 Friar advantage.

UConn's Kelly Horan cut the deficit to 4-3 at 4:44 of the third but the Huskies could not get the equalizer.

Friar goaltender Genevieve Lacasse made 20 saves to earn her 18th victory of the year.

Providence returns home for a pair with Vermont next weekend. After a meeting on Saturday, February 19, the teams will meet again on the Friar's Senior Day on Sunday, February 20. The five members of the class of 2011 will be honored before puck drop. Both weekend contests start at 1 p.m. and tickets are available by calling the PC ticket office at (401) 865 GOPC.