Freshman defenseman Rebecca Morse picks up game-winning goal in final minute for Friars

Junior forward Kate Bacon had a goal and an assist for the Friars

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Freshman Rebecca Morse (Westfield,N.J.) backedhanded home a rebound with just 38 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the ninth-ranked Providence College women's hockey team over visiting Vermont, 3-2, Saturday at Schneider Arena.

With the victory, the Friars have clinched the third seed in the Hockey East Tournament. The team will host the quarterfinal game on Saturday, February 26, at Schneider Arena. Face-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

With the game tied, 2-2, Friar junior Kate Bacon fired a shot that was turned aside by Vermont goalie Roxanne Douville. The rebound kicked to the right circle, meeting a charging Morse.

After a scoreless first 20 minutes with the Catamounts, PC made the initial breakthrough just 1:40 into the middle period. Morse pinched in at the right point to keep possession in the attack zone, and directed the puck to junior Kate Bacon(Chanhassen, Minn.). The speedy forward skating into the slot and dinged a wrist shot off the right post. The rebound came right back to her stick and she converted the second opportunity for her team leading 16th of the season.

The Friars extended the advantage to 2-0 midway through the period. Senior co-captain Alyse Ruff (Tualatin, Ore.) was spilled at center ice but still managed to advance the puck to sophomore winger Nicole Anderson (Jordan, Minn.). Anderson ripped off a wrist shot from the slot for her sixth of the season.

Vermont, fighting for the final spot in the tournament, battled back with two unanswered goals. The 'Cats cut the deficit, 2-1, at 12:38 of the second, when junior Chelsea Rapin lifted home a rebound from the right of the doorstep. The visitors knotted the game, 2-2, five minutes into the third period when Peggy Wakeham converted on her own rebound.

Friar goalie Genevieve Lacasse (Kingston, Ontario) made 21 saves to earn her career-best 19th win of the year. Douville halted 33.

The two teams play again tomorrow at Schneider Arena in the regular season finale. Before the 1 p.m. face-off, the Friars will honor the five members of the class of 2011. Tickets are available by calling the PC ticket office at (401) 865 GOPC.