PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team opened its season Saturday, September 29 against visiting McGill University at Schneider Arena. The Friars defeated the Martlets, 3-2.
Just 1:54 into the first period, senior Jessica Vella (Pickering, Ontario) capitalized on a turnover at the blue line and scored from the slot early to give the Friars the lead. Freshman Courtney Kukowksi (Apple Valley, Minn.) extended the Friars lead after scoring the second unassisted goal of the period for the Friars. Kukowski's goal beat McGill goaltender Taylor Salisbury from right outside the crease when she put the puck right under the crossbar with a backhand shot.
Freshman goaltender Allie Morse (Cottage Grove, Minn.) replaced junior Nina Riley (Lexington Mass.), who made 5 saves in the first period, at the start of the second period. McGill cut the Friars lead in half on a power play goal with 13:36 remaining in the second period. Kelsie Moffat scored for the Martlets on the backdoor after a pass through the crease from Leslie Oles. The Martlets evened up the score at 16:20 of the second period on a breakaway goal from Oles. Morse ended the period with 6 saves.
The eventual game winning goal came at 5:58 of the third period after a perfect pass from outside the face-off circle by freshman Molly Illikainen (Grand Rapids, Mich.) to Brooke Simpson (Boxborough, Mass.), whose one-timer from the slot beat Salisbury to give her the eventual game winner. Freshman goaltender Sarah Bryant (Bethleham, Pa.) made some big saves to give the Friars the victory in the third period. Bryant stopped all 7 shots that she faced.
Providence went 0-3 on the power play while McGill scored once on the man advantage out of its four opportunities. The Friars outshot the Martlets, 25-20, in the match-up.
The Friars begin their regular season with a home opener at Schneider Arena on Friday, October 5 against Bemidji State at 7:00 p.m.