By MARK GARBINO
The Wildcats took one win out of their two-game weekend at Providence College and the University of Connecticut. On Sunday, they held on for a tight 2-1 win over UConn after dropping a 5-4 heartbreaker to Providence on Saturday.
The split puts the team’s overall record at 2-9-0 on the season, including 2-5-0 in Hockey East.
Junior left wing Jonna Curtis registered three assists over the weekend, and has extended her point streak to six games, totaling four goals and seven assists in that span.
“Jonna is a relentless player, and is starting to not only score, but be better defensively,” UNH head coach Hilary Witt said.
Amy Schlagel scored the game-winning goal and freshman goaltender Kyra Smith claimed her first-career win at UConn.
After a poor performance in Providence, Witt saw a more complete game on Sunday.
“I thought we played a calm, smart game,” Witt said. “We did the little things well, and I am happy with our effort. Kyra Smith gave us a big lift in the net.”
Assistant captain Cassandra Vilgrain scored her first goal of the season at 8:49 of the opening frame to break the scoreless tie. Sophomore Kaylee Forster picked up an assist on the play, marking the first of her career.
The Huskies fought back and scored the equalizer about eight minutes into the second period.
Schlagel’s goal came on a power play at the 14:25 mark of the period, and proved to be all the Wildcats would need to leave Connecticut with a win.
The entire game was an evenly matched battle, with the final shots being 22-21 in favor of UConn. Each and every shift was important, as any mistake could’ve resulted in a deciding factor in the game.
“I think we learned that you have to show up every shift to win in this league,” Witt said after the win.
The Wildcats’ penalty kill units were a significant factor in the win, killing off all five penalties taken, including a long 5-on-3 late in the first, and a 6-on-4 in the final minutes. Witt was impressed with the shorthanded play of Curtis.
“[Curtis] was a real positive impact on the PK today,” she said.
Saturday evening in Providence, with UNH holding a 4-3 lead in the final two minutes of the game, the Friars pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker. Their risk was rewarded, as they scored a goal with 1:20 remaining to knot the game 4-4. Providence, sensing the opportunity in front of them, continued to pressure Vaattovaara, and buried another goal just 39 seconds later to take a late lead.
Sophomore center Amy Boucher scored two goals within the first 10:22 of the game, lifting the Wildcats to a quick 2-0 lead.
The Friars answered back with two goals in a span of 1:14 late in the first period to make it a 2-2 game through 20 minutes.
The seesaw scoring continued in the second with UNH scoring the only two goals of the period, regaining its two-goal lead. Both of the goals came in the final five minutes of the frame, with freshman right wing Devan Taylor and sophomore defenseman Kate Haslett finding the back of the net. Haslett’s goal marked her first of the season.
The third period was all Providence, and its desperate effort was too much for the Wildcats. Shot totals in the period favored the Friars 18-5 and they scored three-straight goals to pull off the comeback.
The Wildcats have a tall task on Friday and Saturday, as they will take on the undefeated Boston College Eagles for a home-and-home series.
“We need to play our game and play smart against BC to be successful,” Witt said.
UNH splits weekend series on the road
By MARK GARBINO