Dec. 6, 2008
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Led by goals from Laura Veharanta (La Verne, Calif.), Jean O'Neill (Strafford, Pa.), Brittany Simpson (Barrie, Ontario) and Arianna Rigano (Malden, Mass.), the Providence College women's hockey team defeated Maine, 4-1, to earn its second Hockey East victory of the weekend. Providence improves to 9-6-2 (5-2-1 Hockey East) while Maine falls to 3-113-1 (1-7-1 Hockey East).
In a dominant performance in which the defense limited Maine to only 10 shots, PC applied a steady stream of pressure to create scoring chances off neutral zone turnovers.
After handing the Black Bears a 4-1 defeat last night, the Friars looked to stay out of the penalty box to keep Maine's top-ranked power play (21.2%) at bay. After giving up a first period power-play goal last night, Providence only took one penalty in the initial period and denied the Black Bears of any scoring chances. PC's best chance of the initial period came at 9:50 when sophomore Alyse Ruff (Tualatin, Ore.) was able to skate across the crease waiting for Maine's netminder, Genevieve Turgeon, to commit. Turgeon held her ground and Ruff's shot was saved with the left shoulder. With 2:20 left in the period, Laura Veharanta (La Verne, Calif.) was sent a pass at the top of the crease from Simpson but her shot on the doorstep was denied by Turgeon. The two teams went into the locker room tied, 0-0.
Friar netminder Genevieve Lacasse (Scarborough, Ontario) was only forced to make one save while Turgeon denied 11 PC shots in the first 20 minutes of play.
Providence continued it's stifling pressure in Maine's defensive zone and the efforts paid off at 8:19 of the second period. Ashley Cottrell (Sterling Heights, Mich.) set up to take a face off at the left circle and sent the puck to Veharanta. Veharanta skated with the puck from the left boards before sliding the puck through the five hole for her 12th goal of the season. The assist was the team-leading ninth of the year for Cottrell.
The Friars doubled their lead at 15:32 when freshman Jennifer Friedman (San Gabriel, Calif.) fired a shot from the blue line that was blocked by a Maine defender. Junior Pamela McDevitt (South Boston, Mass.) put the loose puck on frame and sophomore Jean O'Neill (Strafford, Pa.) was able to push home the rebound during a scrum in front of the net for the game winner, her first goal of the season.
On just their third shot of the period, Maine cut the PC lead in half at 17:28 after a Providence penalty when Jenna Ouellette put the puck past Lacasse from the left face-off circle for her seventh goal of the season. Assists on the power-play tally went to Lexie Hoffmeyer and Jess Bond.
Providence went into the locker room having outshot Maine, 21-4, after two periods.
The Friars came out in the third and earned a power play at 2:00. Just 53 seconds later, Providence seniors Erin Normore (Cambdrige, Ontario) and Brittany Simpson sent passes back and forth at the blue line before Simpson unleashed a one-timer into the top right corner of the net to give PC a 3-1 advantage. The blast from the high slot was her first goal of the season. Normore earned her ninth helper on the goal. Rigano put the final goal home into the empty Maine net with 1:22 remaining to close out the game. Senior Katy Beach (Cleveland, Ohio) registered the assist on the goal.
Lacasse was only called into action 11 times, making ten saves to improve to 8-4-0. Turgeon denied 27 PC shots but falls to 2-12-1.
Providence has a 23-day hiatus before traveling to New Haven, Conn. to face off against ECAC foe Yale on December 30. The game will be held at Ingalls Rink in New Haven, Conn starting at 3:00 p.m.
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