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Women's Hockey: 'Cats fall to rival Maine, lose Curtis for season

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, February 3, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 01:02

As if a four game losing streak isn’t bad enough for the UNH women’s hockey team, the Wildcats have now lost sophomore forward Jonna Curtis to a broken collarbone for the rest of the year for the second straight season.

Curtis, who played 10 games this year and scored two goals and one assist, re-broke her collarbone for the third time in two years when she was hit by an opponent and sent head first into the boards in a game against Boston College on Jan. 26. Co-head coach Stephanie Jones said the forward has undergone surgery since the hit.

Jones said this is not a reason to be concerned about Curtis’s future as a collegiate hockey player.

“No, I’m not concerned,” Jones said. “I feel bad for Jonna, you know, she’s been through a lot. That happened to her so many times, we just wish her the best, I’m hopeful she will come back and have a great career.”

Curtis, who played six games in her redshirt freshman season before breaking her collarbone, finally returned to the team this past November. She showed promise in those six games last year, scoring six points on two goals and four assists. 

In regards to this past weekend, in which the Wildcats lost two games on the road to rival, Maine, Jones said she liked the way her team played despite the outcome.

“I was actually impressed with the girls’ effort throughout the weekend,” Jones said. “We certainly outplayed Maine at times, we outshot them both games, we just didn’t get the payoff and unfortunately you can’t win hockey games when you only score one goal.”

On Saturday, they gave up a 2-1 lead in the final minute, en route to a 3-2 overtime loss. In Sunday’s game, they lost 3-1. Sophomore goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara started on Saturday, making 19 saves. Freshman goaltender Ashley Wilkes started Sunday, stopping 23 shots on goal. Junior forward Hannah Armstrong, sophomore defenseman Alexis Crossley and sophomore forward Heather Kashman scored goals for UNH.

With the ever-shortening bench, it has helped to have walk-on Brenna Boulanger join the team this past December. Though Boulanger, who played hockey in high school at St. Thomas Aquinas in Dover, does not get much ice time, it means a lot to the team to have her in the locker room for moral support.

“She’s been a great fit,” Jones said. “It’s her character. She hasn’t been playing a big role on the ice, but she plays a big role with the girls and in the locker room.”

The Wildcats take on Boston University on the road this Saturday. On Sunday, they host Connecticut. Face offs will be at 3 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

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