March 7, 2009
DURHAM, N.H. -
The Providence College women's hockey team suffered a season-ending 3-1 loss to top-seeded New Hampshire today in the Hockey East Semifinals. Providence looked to reach the finals for the sixth time in seven years of Hockey East play but fell just short. Recently announced Rookie of the Year Genevieve Lacasse (Scarborough, Ont.) made 25 saves and Abby Gauthier (Lynn, Mass.) scored for Providence but it wasn't enough as the Friars see their season end with a record of 17-16-3.
Providence gave up two first period goals and never came back. There were signs of a historic comeback in a dominate second period for PC but a third period UNH goal closed the door on the Friars 2008-09 season.
New Hampshire was able to muster a few early shots before the Friars earned a power-play at 6:24 but PC was unable to put a shot on net as the Wildcat blueliners blocked two Jen Friedman (San Gabriel, Calif.) attempts. PC earned its second man-advantage at 10:05. At 11:25 Brittany Simpson (Barrie, Ont.) found a loose puck in the slot and fired a slap shot that UNH netminder Kayley Herman saw at the last second and just barely tipped over the bar to keep the game scoreless.
UNH opened the scoring at 14:32 with a power-play goal from Kacey Bellamy. Bellamy gained control of the puck in the right faceoff circle and sent a wrist shot towards the top right corner that Lacasse lost sight of through traffic in front. Assists went to Courtney Birchard and Kelly Paton. The Wildcats doubled their lead just 1:23 later when Julie Allen poked home a loose puck, the eventual game-winner, on the right side of the PC cage. Maggie Joyce and Angela Taylor earned assists on the goal. The first period ended with New Hampshire holding a 12-3 edge in shots.
Down 2-0 to start the period, Providence came out for the second and dominated the action for the majority of play. The Friars held UNH to just one shot on net during the first 11 minutes. PC put a series of shots on net early on highlighted by a redirection from Mari Pehkonen (Tampere, Finland) that Herman denied with an outstretched left pad.
Providence would get on the board at 11:32 when Erin Normore
(Cambridge, Ont.) broke up a potential UNH breakout at the blue line and stickhandled through the slot. Normore dished a backhanded pass to her left to freshman Abby Gauthier
who made a quick move and snuck the puck past the right pad of Herman for her third goal of the season. Normore earned her team-leading 17th assist on the play.
Both teams earned power-plays in the final five and a half minutes but neither was able to create any quality chances. PC finished the second with a 12-6 advantage in shots putting the total after two, 18-15, in favor of the Wildcats.
Providence, down one to start the final 20 minutes of action, continued where they left off in the second with hard shots from the point by defenders Amber Yung and Friedman forcing Herman into duty. The Wildcats earned their fourth power-play of the game at 9:55 and put a series of shots on frame but Lacasse was up to the task completing the successful penalty-kill.
UNH would add an insurance tally at 13:29 to go up 3-1 when Micheala Long picked up the puck in the slot and beat Lacasse. Sam Faber and Kelly Paton each earned assists on the play.
Providence pulled the goalie with 50 seconds remaining and earned a six-on-four advantage for 24 seconds after a UNH penalty but time expired in the third and on the Friars season with UNH ahead, 3-1.
Lacasse finished the game with 25 saves but sees her final record fall to 15-11-1.