Junior forward Kristina Lavoie registers three assists for Wildcats

Junior forward Kristina Lavoie posted three assists for the Wildcats

DURHAM, N.H. - Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) recorded a career-high three assists and Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) stopped 24 of 25 shots to lead the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 5-1 victory against the University of Connecticut in Hockey East action at the Whittemore Center.

UNH completed the weekend sweep of UConn - the Wildcats prevailed 1-0 Jan. 13 - to improve to 8-13-3 overall and 2-7-2 in Hockey East. UConn, now winless in seven games (0-3-4) since the end of November, fell to 3-15-6, 2-7-2.

Lavoie finished with a season-high three points, which also tied her personal best. Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) matched her career high of two assists and Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.) equaled her benchmark of two points with a goal and an assist.

Minton, who made 15 saves in Friday night's shutout of the Huskies, recorded 10 of Saturday's 24 saves in the second period. UConn's Alexandra Garcia was credited with 11 saves in both the second and third periods as part of a 30-save effort.

UNH took a 1-0 lead at 8:39 of the first period on a goal by Caroline Broderick (Marblehead, Mass.). Garcia stopped the initial shot from the slot by Emma Clark (East Barre, Vt.), but Broderick punched in the rebound at the left doorstep. Bryanna Farris (Carleton Place, Ontario) was also credited with an assist.

The Huskies tied the score, 1-1, at 13:30 when Maggie Walsh cut through the right circle and wristed a shot past Minton's glove into the upper-right corner of the net. Jocelyn Slattery set up the tally.

The 'Cats regained the lead less than three minutes later, however, on a strong individual effort by Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.). From the right circle, Lavoie hit Horn cutting down the slot. Horn opted to forgo a shot as she cut towards the left post, then continued around the outside of the left circle and once again cut down the slot before lifting a close-range shot into the cage at 15:53. Mork was also credited with an assist.

New Hampshire extended the advantage to 3-1 just 45 seconds into the second stanza. Lavoie executed a tape-to-tape pass from the defensive blue line to Jenna Lascelle (Cornwall, Ontario) at the opposite blue line to generate a breakaway. Lascelle skated down the slot, deked Garcia by circling the blade of her stick around the puck and then shifted to the left post to tuck a shot into the open net. Gifford, with the initial pass to Lavoie, also earned an assist on the tally.

UNH went on its third power play of the game at 2:13, on one minute later offensive pressure led to a shot from the slot by Arielle O'Neill (St. Catherines, Ontario) that beat Garcia but caromed off the right post. Lascelle corralled the loose puck at the left doorstep, but her shot hit off Garcia's back leg pad and across the crease.

In the sixth minute, O'Neill slipped a pass through the slot to Paige Goloubef (Oakville, Ontario) and her shot ricocheted off the left post.

The Wildcats took a 4-1 lead at 15:41 of the second period. Lavoie maneuvered around a defenseman through the slot and her point-blank shot was stopped by Garcia, but Mork collected the puck and shot it into the net for her second goal of the season.

UConn had an excellent scoring bid at 7:30 of the third period when a UNH defender misjudged an outlet pass through the neutral zone, which allowed Kelly Horan to break in on Minton alone down the right wing, but that shot was lifted wide of the near post.

Four minutes later on a UConn rush, Sami Evelyn was positioned in the slot and redirected a low shot towards the crossbar, but Minton made a glove save to preserve the Wildcats' three-goal lead.

Katie Brock (Marblehead, Mass.) scored her first career goal on a shot from the left circle at 17:22 to give the 'Cats a 5-1 advantage. Gifford and Katie Kleinendorst (Vestal, N.Y.) were credited with assists, and it marked the first career point for Kleinendorst.

New Hampshire concludes its three-game homestand Jan. 19 against Boston University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.

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