Junior forward Jessica Hitchcock registers two goals and assist for Wildcats

Junior forward Jessica Hitchcock had two goals and an assist for the Wildcats

DURHAM, N.H. -- Junior forward Jessica Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario) tallied three points Tuesday night with a pair of goals and an assist as the University of New Hampshire women's hockey team rolled past Quinnipiac, 5-2. The Wildcats, who are unbeaten in their last four games (3-0-1), improve to 6-7-1 on the year while the Bobcats fell to 7-6-2.

Hitchcock got the Wildcats on the board early with her fourth goal of the year and first of the period as she skated down the right wing and jammed it between the pads of Bobcat goalie Victoria Vigilanti just 34 seconds in. The play originated when Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) won a faceoff and sent the puck up to Hannah Armstrong (Newmarket, Ontario), each tallying an assist on the play. Nicole Kosta notched the game at 1-1 at 5:55 in the period when she tallied her eighth goal of the season. Cydney Roesler and Regan Boulton notched assists on the tying goal.

Senior forward Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) broke the stalemate at 17:34 of the first period when she found the back of the net for her fourth goal of the year. Katie Brock (Marblehead, Mass.) sent a wall-pass up the ice to Lavoie who then took it home for the tally. Hitchcock struck again for the 'Cats with eight seconds remaining in the first, tallying her second goal of the period and fifth of the year. Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) notched her fourth assist of the season on the play. After one period of play, UNH held a 3-1 advantage.

Quinnipiac's Brittany Lyons opened up the second period with a goal at 5:42 to cut the Wildcat lead to one. Lyons received the puck from Kristen Tamberg and put it top shelf over the shoulder of New Hampshire netminder Jenn Gilligan (Maple Ridge, British Columbia) for the score. Horn regained a two-goal lead for UNH at the 15:50 mark with a power play tally and her third goal of the season. Crossley and Megan Armstrong (Edina, Minn.) each tallied their third assists of the season on the play. After the completion of two periods, New Hampshire held a 4-2 lead.

In the third period, Gifford added one more goal for the Wildcats as she tallied her first goal of the year on a power play. Hitchcock started the play when she took a backhand shot that was saved by Bobcat goalie Chelsea Laden. Gifford found the rebound of the shot and sent a wrist shot to the left side of the net. Quinnipiac tried to cut its deficit when Kelly Babstock fired a point-blank shot at the net, but Gilligan blocked the shot and smothered the rebound to deny a second chance. After three periods of play, New Hampshire tallied a 5-2 victory.

Gilligan got the win in net for the Wildcats to improve her record to 3-0-0 on the year as she made 30 saves on the 32 shots faced. Vigilanti got the loss for Quinnipiac after allowing three first period goals on the seven shots she faced. Her record falls to 6-4-1. Laden played the remaining periods for the Bobcats and made 14 saves on 16 shots faced. New Hampshire was dominant on special teams as it went 2-for-2 on the power play and held Quinnipiac to a 0-for-4 power play mark.

The Wildcats will return to the ice after the holiday and host no. 1 Minnesota for a pair of games. The first game is set for Saturday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. for Whiteout the Whit.