Senior forward Danielle Ward nets game-winning goal at 3:23 of overtime for Black Bears
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Senior forward Danielle Ward scored her third overtime goal of the season for Maine
Danielle Ward (Lansing, Mich.) scored her 14th goal of the year just 3:23 into overtime to lift the Black Bears over New Hampshire in overtime, 4-3. Maine battled back from a 3-0 deficit with three goals in the third period to secure their record setting 10th Hockey East victory, beating the previous mark of nine. Maine now improves to 16-10-6 on the season and to 10-8-2 in conference action while the Wildcats fall to 10-20-3 overall and to 4-14-2 in Hockey East play. Tallying goals for the Black Bears were Missy Denk (Poplar Grove, Ill.), Kayla Kaluzny (Calgary, Alberta), Dawn Sullivan (Enfield, Nova Scotia) and Danielle Ward.
The first period saw opportunities from both sides; Maine firing six shots at Wildcat goalie Jenn Gilligan, and New Hampshire testing Brittany Ott (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) ten times. Each goalie played solid, saving every shot they faced.
New Hampshire broke the tie when Kristina Lavoie tallied her first of two goals on the afternoon at 2:32. Lavoie received the puck from defender Kristine Horn in their offensive zone and put it away to give New Hampshire a 1-0 lead. Just under five minutes later, Kayla Mork extended the lead for New Hampshire to 2-0. Assisting her on the play was Kailey Chappell. Kristina Lavoie would then notch her second goal of the day and the third for New Hampshire on a power play with 2:13 left in the period. Kristine Horn found Lavoie on the play again for the pair's second goal-assist performance of the game. At the end of two periods, the score was 3-0.
A resilient Maine offense cut the New Hampshire lead to two goals when Missy Denk notched her ninth goal of the year. The play originated when Dawn Sullivan fired a shot at Jenn Gilligan who made the initial save; however Denk honed in on the rebound and put it away. Kayla Kaluzny struck next for the Black Bears at 8:11 in the third when Brittney Huneke (Hastings, Minn.) found Missy Denk, who then found Kaluzny for the second goal of the day for Maine. New Hampshire still had a 3-2 lead. Just 19 seconds later, Dawn Sullivan tallied her sixth goal of the season and leveling the score at 3-3. Danielle Ward earned her second assist of the day and her 16th of the season as Melissa Gagnon (St. Gilles, Quebec) earned her ninth assist of the season and her first of the game. Maine kept the pressure on, firing 23 shots throughout the period; however at the end of three periods, the score was notched a 3-3 and we were headed to overtime.
Danielle Ward scored her seventh game-winning goal of the season at the 3:23 mark of overtime to give Maine a 4-3 victory. The play started when Brittany Dougherty (Chesterfield, Mich.) found Melissa Gagnon who then sent a shot in at UNH goalie Jenn Gilligan and ended up being tipped in front of the net by Ward, sending the puck five-hole on Gilligan and scoring.
Brittany Ott earned the win for the Black Bears in net after making 20 saves on 23 shots that she faced. Her record now improves to 12-9-3 on the season. Despite making 44 saves on 48 shots, Jenn Gilligan was credited with the loss for New Hampshire. Her record now falls to 5-9-2 on the year. New Hampshire took advantage of the power play, going 1-for-2 while Maine was not given a power play opportunity, going 0-for-0.
The two teams will wrap up the regular season tomorrow on a special day for Maine; Senior Day. Maine's six seniors, Danielle Ward, Ashley Norum (Fairbanks, Alaska), Myriam Croussette (Baie-Comeau, Quebec), Melissa Gagnon, Dominique Goutsis (Coquitlam, British Columbia), and Dawn Sullivan will be honored in a post-game recognition ceremony. The puck is set to drop at 3 p.m.