Wildcats record first win
The UNH women's hockey team overcame an early 1-0 Maine lead to secure a 2-2 tie in overtime Sunday afternoon. This now brings the Wildcats' record to 2-2-1 overall and 0-0-1 in Hockey East and Maine's record to 0-1-1 overall and in Hockey East.
UNH unleashed a total of 52 shots on Maine goalie Meghann Treacy who saved 50 of them while UNH goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara stopped 17 of the 19 shots she faced.
UNH was superior in the faceoff circle winning 44 of them, compared to Maine's 25. Both teams played well on the penalty kill as neither team scored a power play goal.
The Wildcats played aggressive defense all game, but Maine made the most of their opportunities.
With 4:57 remaining in the first period, Maine scored the first goal of the game when Kayla Kaluzny fed a pass from the red line to the right of the goal to out front where Emilie Brigham buried a shot in the left side of the net.
UNH outshot Maine in the first period 17-5 but could not answer that goal.
The second period was different for the Wildcats who came out equally aggressive on the attack and were able to do some damage. Cassandra Vilgrain scored her first career goal with 9:58 remaining in the period.
The play started out behind the net with Heather Kashman sending a pass to Caroline Broderick at the right point who unleashed a vicious slap shot that was redirected into the back of the net by Vilgrain.
UNH scored again with 7:13 to go when from behind the net, Jenna Lascelle found Kashman positioned at the right post who slipped the puck by Treacy for a 2-1 lead for UNH.
It recorded 16 shots in this period to go along with 17 in the first period.
"I think we played as a team and did a really good job in the defensive zone moving the puck up," Vilgrain said. "If you have a good flow then you're bound to get some scoring opportunities and bury the puck."
In the third period, UNH held strong on defense for the majority of the period; however, with 2:30 remaining in the game, Maine tied it up 2-2.
They pulled Treacy and sent out Jennifer More as an extra attacker who would win the crowded battle that occurred out in front of the Wildcats' net by squeezing the puck by Vaattovaara for the goal, which sent the game into OT.
In the overtime period, Alexis Crossley and Arielle O'Neill had two good scoring chances for UNH but were unable to convert and the game ended in a tie.
Despite the tie, coach McCloskey did see some positives in the game.
"The strength we will have if things fall into place for us is we should be a balanced club," McCloskey said. "We should get scoring from different people, and we should be really balanced across the board without a big fall off."
New Hampshire returns to the ice Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. at Boston College. The Wildcats' next home game is Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. against Boston University.
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