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Senior forward Kristina Lavoie scored a hat trick for the Wildcats
Providence, R.I.- - The Providence College women's ice hockey team recorded a 6-4 loss to Hockey East opponent New Hampshire on Friday, Feb. 15 at Schneider Arena. The Friars are now 14-12-4 overall and 8-7-2 against Hockey East competition.
Providence grabbed an early lead after 45 seconds of play in the first period. Sophomore Beth Hanrahan (Poolesville, Md.) finished off a play in front of UNH goaltender Jenn Gilligan, when she jammed the puck into the back of the net. The power-play goal was assisted by sophomore Haley Frade (Marion, Mass.) and freshman Molly Illikainen (Grand Rapids, Minn.).
The Wildcats scored five unanswered goals in the second period against the Friars. New Hampshire defenseman Kristine Horn tied the game at 2:31 of the second period with a long shot on the power-play that beat freshman goaltender Sarah Bryant (Bethlehem, Pa.).
At 7:56 of the second, Jessica Hitchcock scored UNH's second power-play goal of the game and gave UNH a 2-1 lead. The Wildcats added three more goals before the period ended, including two goals from Kristina Lavoie.
Sophomore Brooke Simpson (Boxboro, Mass.) opened the scoring in the third period to cut the UNH lead to 5-2. Her fifth goal of the season came at 11:46 of the final period with assists from junior Corinne Buie (Edina, Minn.) and freshman Brittney Thunstrom (Coon Rapids, Minn.).
Senior Nicole Anderson (Jordan, Minn.) tightened the score to 5-3 with her team-leading 15th goal of the season. The play was set-up by senior Jessica Vella (Pickering, Ontario) and sophomore Victoria Virtue (Walpole, Mass.) at 14:09 of the period.
UNH and Providence exchanged goals late in the third period to cap off the scoring. Kristine Lavoie beat junior Nina Riley (Lexington, Mass.), who replaced Bryant at the start of the third period, on a breakaway for UNH to complete her hat trick while Hanrahan put in a rebound after Vella rang a shot off the crossbar.
Special teams had an impact on the game for both teams. UNH went 2-for-7 on the power-play and also added a shorthanded goal. Providence finished the game 1-for-4 on the man advantage. Bryant made 20 saves through the first two periods of the game and Riley made 5 saves in the closing frame. Wildcats goaltender, Gilligan, stopped 24 of the 28 shots she faced in the game.
The Friars finish their season series against New Hampshire on Sunday, Feb. 17. The puck will drop at 2:00 p.m. at UNH's Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H.