Nov. 7, 2013
Durham, N.H. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team fell to Hockey East foe New Hampshire on Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Whittemore Center. With the loss, Providence's overall record moves to 4-7-0, while its league record moves to 1-4-0 on the season. It was the first loss for the Friars in the Whittemore Center since March 7, 2009 when the Friars fell 3-1.
The Friars were first on the board with a goal from sophomore Courtney Kukowski (Apple Valley, Minn.) at 8:06 of the first period. Kukowski skated the puck into the Wildcats defensive end before firing a puck on net that bounced back out for her to fire past Wildcat goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara for her second goal of the season.
Providence would extend its lead to 2-0 before the end of the first period. At 14:58, senior Rebecca Morse (Westfield, N.J.) broke the puck out of the Friars end with a pass to sophomore Brittney Thunstrom (Coon Rapids, Minn.), who skated the puck into the offensive zone before firing a puck off Vaattovaara's far pad. Vaattovaara could not control the rebound that found its way to junior Beth Hanrahan's (Poolesville, Md.) stick, who fired the puck into the open net for her fifth goal of the season. Thunstrom and Morse each notched their fourth assists of the season on the play.
At the end of the first period, Providence had outshot New Hampshire, 13-5, while the Wilcats led in face-offs, 14-10. Both teams were scoreless on the power play, Providence was 0-for-1 and New Hampshire was 0-for-2.
New Hampshire's Hannah Armstrong cut the Friars lead in half with a shorthanded goal at 9:09 of the second period. Sophomore goaltender Sarah Bryant (Bethlehem, Pa.) came out of the net to play a Wildcat dump, when a Friar defender lost an edge and took out Bryant on the way back for the puck. Armstrong collected the puck and put it into the open Friar net for her first goal of the season.
The Friars successfully killed off two penalties, including a 5-on-3 advantage for New Hampshire for 20 seconds but could not contain the Wildcats pressure as New Hampshire tied the game with one minute left in the second period. Kayla Mork notched the Wildcat goal off a rebound on the back door. Bryant made the initial save on a shot take by Jessica Hitchcock, who earned the assist on the play, but could not get over in time to stop Mork's shot.
During the second period Bryant made six saves, while Vaattovaara stopped all 10 of the Friar's shots.
New Hampshire earned took its first lead of the game at 12:12 of the third period to tilt the score 3-2 in its favor. Jess Ryan wheeled out of the offensive corner to find her way to the slot, where she fired a shot that beat Bryant low glove side for her third goal of the season. Ryan was assisted on the play by Mork.
Providence pulled Byant for the extra skater in the final 1:16 of the game but could not convert as the Wildcats sealed the win with an empty net goal from Nicole Gifford. Gifford was assisted on the play by Megan Armstrong.
Though the Friars outshot the Wildcats, 30-23, the Friars could not find a way to break Vaattovaara after the first period. Vaattovaara would finish the game with 28 saves, while Bryant made 21 saves in the loss.
The Friars are back in action on Sunday, Nov. 10, when they travel to Storrs, Conn. to take on the Connecticut Huskies. It will be the last of a six-game stretch of Hockey East games the Friars have played. Puck drop will take place at 2:00 p.m. the Freitas Ice Forum.
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