March 2, 2013
DURHAM, N.H. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team took on the New Hampshire Wildcats as the fifth seeded team in the Hockey East Quarterfinal match-up on Saturday, March 2 at the Whittemore Center. The Friars defeated the Wildcats, 5-4 in overtime after battling back from a three goal deficit. The comeback marks the third win against the Wildcats in the Friars all-time Hockey East playoff history between the two, the record now moves to an even 3-3.
New Hampshire took an early lead during the first period, scoring two goals in a 10 second span. Jenna Lascelle of the Wildcats put the puck past junior goaltender Nina Riley (Lexington, Mass.) on a two-on-one play to tally her first goal of the season at 7:06 of the period.
Seconds later at 6:56 of the first period Lascelle found Caroline Broderick in the slot with a pass from behind the net. Broderick put the puck in for her second goal of the season.
At the end of the first period the Wildcats led 2-0 with the Friars out-shooting New Hampshire 11-6. Wildcat goaltender Jenn Gilligan stopped all 13 shots she faced during the period, while Riley made four saves during the period.
The Wildcats added on at 15:09 of the second period to give them a 3-0 lead. Arielle O'Neill notched her eighth goal of the season with a shot from below the faceoff dot on the right side of the ice.
The Friars battled back and tallied their first goal of the game with 2:43 left to play in the second period while on the power-play. Junior defenseman Rebecca Morse (Westfield, N.J.) found sophomore defenseman Victoria Virtue (Walpole, Mass.) on the blueline with a pass. Virtue ripped a wrist shot to notch second goal of the season. Senior Nicole Anderson (Jordan, Minn.) also earned an assist on the play that cut the Wildcats lead to 3-1.
At the end of two periods of play the Friars out-shot the Wildcats 18-15, with Riley making eight stops during the second period.
The Friars turned the pressure up during the third period and closed the Wildcat lead to 3-2 in the first five minutes of play. Freshman Molly Illikainen (Grand Rapids, Minn.) blasted the puck in the net at 15:25 after classmate Lexi Slattery (Lino Lakes, Minn.) fired a puck from the blueline that bounced to the front of the net. The play was started along the wall by sophomore Haley Frade (Marion, Mass.), who earned her 17th assist of the season on the play.
New Hampshire extended their lead to 4-2 on a power-play goal with 7:05 left in regulation time. Kristina Lavoie entered the zone on a breakaway before she made a move to her forehand and slid the puck past Riley.
The Friars responded with a goal less than a minute later at 6:37. Anderson fired a shot low that beat Gilligan blocker side to close the Wildcats lead to 4-3. Anderson was assisted by classmate Jessica Vella (Pickering, Ontario), who tallied her 11th assist on the play.
With 4:12 left to play in the third period sophomore Brooke Simpson (Boxboro, Mass.) evened the score at four apiece with a wrist shot from the slot for her seventh goal of the season. Vella and Anderson each earned their second assists of the game on the play.
Riley stopped six shots during the third period to give her a total of 18 saves during regulation time. Gilligan made 10 saves for the Wildcats to give her 27 stops during the three period regulation time. The Friars ended the third period with a total of 31 shots on goal, while only allowing New Hampshire to get 22 on net.
After several chances for both teams it was the Friars who found the back of the net in overtime. With her 14th goal of the season, sophomore Beth Hanrahan (Poolesville, Md.) earned the win for the Friars and sent them to the semifinals for the 11th straight year. Hanrahan was assisted on the play by Simpson and Frade.
Riley made 21 stops in 65:51 minutes of play for her first playoff win of her career. Anderson notched three points in the win, while Frade, Simpson and Vella each tallied two points apiece.
Providence will travel to Hyannis, Mass. to take part in the Hockey East Semifinal game on March, 9. The Friars will play at either 12:30 or 3:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Rink, Hyannis Youth Community Center.
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