PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team defeated the New Hampshire Wildcats to split a weekend home-and-home series. The Friars defeated the Wildcats 4-1 at Schneider Arena on Saturday, Jan. 11. With the win, Providence moves its overall record to 9-14-0 on the season and 4-6-0 in Hockey East.
Providence came out flying following the opening face-off of the first period. The Friars took an early 1-0 lead just 28 seconds into the game. Senior Corinne Buie (Edina, Minn.) recovered the puck in the Friars defensive end and carried it along the far wall before moving it along to sophomore Brittney Thunstrom (Coon Rapids, Minn.). Thunstrom quickly moved the puck across the offensive zone to junior Allison Micheletti (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), who was flying towards the Wildcat net as she was taken out by a New Hampshire defender. As Micheletti went down Thunstrom's pass bounced off her leg and through the five hole of Wildcat goaltender Ashley Wilkes.
The Friars continued to hold their 1-0 lead heading into the second period as they outshot the Wildcats 10-3 in the first period of play. Providence also held New Hampshire to zero shots on goal during the Wildcats one power-play opportunity.
Providence continued to turn up the heat in the second period, notching two goals to give the Friars a three goal lead heading into the final period.
At 12:15 of the period, sophomore Molly Illikainen (Grand Rapids, Minn.) rolled out of the far offensive corner and fired a pass to the front of the net that junior Beth Hanrahan (Poolesville, Md.) tipped to freshman Cassidy Carels (Bruxelles, Manitoba). Carels one-timed the puck past Wilkes for her 11th goal of the season.
Minutes later the Friars added onto their lead with a goal from red shirt senior Stephanie Demars (Vermontville, N.Y.) at 15:29 of the period. Buie won the offensive zone face-off to DeMars, who fired the puck low short side to notch her third goal of the season. With her 17th assist of the season, Buie notched her 100th career point on 44 goals and 56 assists. She is now the 33rd Friar to capture 100 career points.
At the end of two periods, Providence led 25-16 in shots and 23-13 in face-offs. Sophomore goaltender Sarah Bryant stopped all 13 shots she faced in the two periods.
To start the third period, New Hampshire made a goalie change to Marie-Eve Jean, who finished the period with three saves, while Wilkes finished the game with 18.
The Friars put the win out of reach with a goal in the first minute of the third period to make the score 4-0 in favor of Providence.
Micheletti notched her second goal of the game for a career-high two goal game at 00:36 of the third period. Micheletti put the puck upstairs on Jean from outside the right face-off circle after receiving a cross-ice pass from sophomore Lexi Romanchuk (San Jose, Calif.). It was Micheletti's fifth goal of the season, while Romanchuk notched her 11th assist of the season.
The Wildcats were not deterred by the goal and continued to put pressure on the Friars. Jessica Hitchcock tallied New Hampshire's lone goal at 2:27 of the final frame. Hitchcock received a pass in the slot from Nicole Gifford, who collected the puck off a Providence turnover.
Providence finished the game with 25 shots on goal, while allowing the Wildcats just 16 shots on net. The Friars were also strong in the face-off circle as they edged the Wildcats 32-21. Providence's penalty kill also proved to be a critical aspect of the win, as the Friars killed all five penalties they took and allowed the Wildcats just two shots on goal in the shorthanded 10 minutes.
The Friars are back in action on Friday, Jan. 17 at 7:00 p.m. when they take on No. 8 Boston University at Schneider Arena. The Terriers lead Hockey East with 18 points, while Providence is currently tied with two other teams in fourth with eight points.