Durham, N.H. -
The Providence College women's ice hockey team suffered a 4-1 loss at New Hampshire tonight (Jan. 10) at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H. With the loss, Providence moves its overall record to 8-14-0 and 3-6-0 in Hockey East play. The Friars are now 0-2-0 against in Wildcats this season.
The Friars and Wildcats skated to a scoreless first period, with plenty of back-and-forth action. Providence killed off four consecutive penalties, including a 23 second 5-on-3 man advantage for New Hampshire, to keep the score tied at 0-0.
At 4:06 of the first period, sophomore goaltender Sarah Bryant (Bethlehem, Pa.) made a stand-up glove save against Wildcat leading scorer Nicole Gifford. Gifford split the Providence defensemen to find herself on a breakaway before firing a low shot that Bryant snatched to keep New Hampshire scoreless in the first. Bryant would finish the period with 12 saves, including six power-play stops.
Gifford later put the Wildcats on the board to give New Hampshire a 1-0 lead at 5:21 of the second period. Gifford received a pass from the corner and fired a low shot that beat Bryant five-hole.
The Friars continued to battle back and put the pressure on the Wildcats, creating several chances from offensive zone face-offs.
Later in the period, red shirt senior Stephanie Demars (Vermontville, N.Y.) blocked a huge shot in the slot without her stick to keep the Friars within striking distance.
Providence continued to fire away on Wildcat goaltender Ashley Wilkes, the Friars were able to break the freshman at 15:48 of the second frame. Graduate student Janine Weber (Innsbruck, Austria) collected the puck off a Wildcat turnover and fired a shot on net that junior Haley Frade (Marion, Mass.) redirected but Wilkes stopped. It was senior Rebecca Morse (Westfield, N.J.) that put away the final shot. Morse collect Frade's rebound and sniped the puck top-shelf glove side on Wilkes for her second goal of the season. Weber and Frade collected their fourth and 10th assists of the season, respectively.
At the end of two periods, Providence trailed in shots, 17-23, but led in face-offs, 23-21.
New Hampshire took its second lead of the game at 2:50 of the third period. Jessica Hitchcock fired in a rebound off a shot taken by Gifford. Bryant made the initial save but could not get over in time to stop Hitchcock as she scored the eventual game-winner.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 3-1 at 13:02 of the third with a goal from Jonna Curtis. Curtis and Casandra Vilgrain entered the Friars defensive end on a 2-on-1. Vilgrain fired the initial shot on net that Bryant stopped, while Curtis pushed in the puck that tickled across the goal line.
New Hampshire sealed the 4-1 win with an empty net goal from Hitchcock at 19:28 of the third period.
The Friars were out shot, 32-23, in the loss, while going 31 for 60 in the face-off circle. Bryant finished the game with 28 saves in her 19th appearance this season.
Providence and New Hampshire will wrap-up the home-and-home series tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 11 at Schneider Arena. The two programs will conclude the three-game Hockey East series in a 7:00 p.m. puck drop.