LACASSE MAKES 31 SAVES TO LEAD PROVIDENCE COLLEGE PAST NEW HAMPSHIRE, 2-0
Junior goaltender Genevieve Lacasse earns 12th career shutout with 31 saves for Friars
DURHAM, N.H. - Genevieve Lacasse recorded 31 saves, including 13 in both the second and third periods, to backbone the ninth-ranked Providence College women's ice hockey team to Friday night's 2-0 Hockey East victory against the University of New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center.
UNH recorded the shot advantage all three periods (5-1, 13-10, 13-8), but lost its ninth consecutive Hockey East game to fall to 2-9-0 in the league and 9-12-0 overall. Providence, which has won five straight games vs. the Wildcats - the Friars' longest winning streak in the series, improved to 15-7-1 overall, 6-4-1 HE.
In the scoreless first period, UNH generated the most dangerous scoring opportunity in the 14th minute when Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) got behind the defense, deked Lacasse in the slot but the PC netminder stopped the low wrister.
The Friars created a 2-on-1 rush 45 seconds into the second period in which Corinne Buie was denied by UNH goaltender Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas; 17 saves) at the left doorstep.
Two minutes later, a long outlet pass by Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario) found Molly Morrison (South Burlington, Vt.) at the blue line. Morrison fended off a defender down the slot and her bid was thwarted by Lacasse.
In the fifth minute, PC generated another 2-on-1 chance and this time Buie was turned away from the slot.
UNH counterattacked with Katie Brock (Marblehead, Mass.) executing a pass from the defensive zone to Horn at the center line on the left wing. Horn carried to the circle and centered the puck towards the far post, where the charging Hannah Armstrong (Aurora, Ontario) redirected a shot on net. Lacasse, however, slid across the crease to keep the game scoreless.
Providence took a 1-0 lead at 10:15 of the first period. Alyse Ruff's initial shot from the slot sailed wide left of the cage, but Kate Bacon corralled the puck behind the net and sent it back in front to Ruff, who shot it into the cage. Buie was also credited with an assist.
In the 12th minute, an indirect pass by Raylen Dziengelewski (Southwick, Mass.) sprung Horn on another breakaway opportunity. Horn advanced down the slot and was denied twice by Lacasse.
In the opening minutes of the third period, the 'Cats generated a dangerous 2-on-2 chance in which Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario), from the right circle, sent a centering pass to the slot that was one-timed by Sarah Campbell (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.). Lacasse, however, blocked aside that shot.
The Friars extended the lead to 2-0 at 14:53 when Abby Gauthier collected a loose puck high in the defensive zone and charged to create a breakaway down the slot.
PC was whistled for a minor penalty at 16:34, at which point UNH called time out and pulled Minton to create a two-skater advantage. One minute later, a flurry by the 'Cats resulted in shots by Nicole Gifford (Peterborough, Ontario) and Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario). Then in the waning moments of the power play, Morrison's one-timer from the slot was denied by Lacasse and Allen's shot off the rebound from the left doorstep ricocheted off the near post.
New Hampshire and Providence conclude the home-and-home series - as well as the season series - Jan. 15 (7 p.m.) Schneider Arena. The Wildcats' next home game is Jan. 29 against the University of Maine. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 2 p.m.