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Junior forward Kristina Lavoie had a goal and an assist for the Wildcats
DURHAM, N.H. - Jenn Gilligan (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) recorded her first career shutout with a 19-save effort that backboned the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Friday night's 3-0 non-conference victory against Colgate University at the Whittemore Center.
UNH won its third consecutive game to remain unbeaten at 3-0-0 while this game marked the season opener for Colgate, which has lost all five lifetime meetings against the Wildcats at the Whittemore Center.
The Wildcats' offense was led by Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) and Jenna Lascelle (Cornwall, Ontario), both of whom recorded a goal and assist. Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) netted the other goal; both Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) and Heather Kashman (Edmonton, Alberta) were credited with an assist.
Colgate goalie Kimberly Sass made half of her 26 saves in the second period.
Following a scoreless first period in which UNH generated an 8-5 shot advantage, the Wildcats netted a pair of second-period goals to take a 2-0 lead. Lavoie netted the game's first goal at 3:16 on a breakaway in which she skated down the slot and shifted to the right post to beat Sass. Lascelle, with the outlet pass from the defensive blue line, set up the tally.
New Hampshire scored a power-play goal at 7:15 to extend the advantage to 2-0. Kashman, the reigning Pro Ambitions Hockey East Rookie of the Week, moved the puck from low in the right circle to the top, where Gifford centered a pass to Horn and she wristed a low shot inside the right post.
Colgate called time out following an icing infraction at 13:13. On the ensuing faceoff, the Raiders cleared the puck out of the zone to generate a rush by Brittany Phillips. She charged down the slot, but Gilligan swatted aside the puck with her glove.
Two minutes later on a CU power play, Melissa Kueber's shot from the right circle caromed off Gilligan and the right post.
The 'Cats took a 2-0 lead and 21-10 shot advantage into the final frame.
Colgate went on its fifth power play of the game at 11:07 and generated a pair of dangerous scoring opportunities. Phillips snapped a wrister from the right circle that was enveloped by Gilligan, then moments later Jocelyn Simpson fired a shot from the hashmarks in the slot through traffic wide right of the cage.
UNH went ahead 3-0 at 14:30 of the third period. Lavoie won the puck in the corner and maneuvered to the slot, where her shot was stopped by Sass. Lascelle corralled the puck off the rebound at the left post, however, and quickly snapped a shot into the open left side for her first collegiate goal.
The Wildcats called time out with 1:08 remaining and Colgate pulled Sass in favor of an extra skater. Gilligan denied Rachel Walsh at the right post with 37 seconds on the clock and Gilligan made another save at the buzzer to preserve the shutout.
UNH finished the game with a 29-19 shot advantage. The Wildcats were 1-for-2 on the power play and 6 of 6 on the penalty kill.
New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 8 at home against Syracuse University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 5 p.m.