Maine Hockey Journal

Lady Bears beat up on UNH

Lewiston, ME – The University of Maine women’s ice hockey team (5-6-2 overall; 1-2-2 in Hockey East) capitalized on their chances as they defeated their arch rival University of New Hampshire (8-6 overall; 2-4 in Hockey East), 4-1, in front of a handful of fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Tuesday night.

“We had a slow start, but I think we were feeling them out a little,” said Maine Head Coach Maria Lewis.

The Lady Black Bears took advantage of an early power play.

With Courtney Sheary in the penalty box, Myriam Croussette fired the puck past New Hampshire goalie Kayley Herman at the 3:28 mark of the first period, eleven seconds after the penalty was called.

“I will take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday,” Lewis said of the quick power play goal.

Assists went to Melissa Gagnon and Chloe Tinkler.

Maine’s lone mistake of the first period came on their second power play of the evening. The Wildcats created a turnover at their own blue line, creating on a 2-on-1 where Kristina Lavoie fed Arielle O’Neil, who snapped the shot past Maine goalkeeper Brittany Ott.

“I am not sure where the breakdown happened in the neutral zone, but they got the 2-on-1,” said Ott. “(Arielle O’Neil) picked her corner very well.”

Maine regained the lead with eleven seconds remaining in the second stanza when Brittany Dougherty picked up the puck in the neutral zone and skated untouched into the slot where she snapped the puck past Herman.

“My teammates smacked the puck away and I just took it into the zone,” Dougherty said.

“It was huge, absolutely no question about it,” Lewis said of how important the goal was. “Especially when it’s other teams getting the late (goal) on us. For us to do that; not just for the momentum of the game, but for the kids to believe in themselves that they will get the job done.”

The momentum continued for the Black Bears in third period as Croussette released a snap shot from the right circle and found the top shelf just 44 seconds into the period.

“We knew what we had to do in the third period,” said Croussette. “We came out strong and with some character. We knew (Herman) was weak on the (up high) so I just buried it there.”

The Wildcats pulled the goalie while on the power play with four minutes to play, but the Black Bears took advantage as the power play expired as Danielle Ward potted the empty netter with 2:58 to play.

“When (Brian McCloskey, UNH’s head coach) took that timeout, I told them this will be a 6-on-4 situation,” said Lewis. We talked about that during the timeout and sure enough, that’s exactly what happened.”

The Black Bears were 1-for-5 on the power play while the Wildcats were 0-for-6.

Ott made 32 saves in the victory while Herman turned aside 20 shots in the loss.

“She gives us a chance to win every time she’s in net,” Lewis added of Ott. “Right now, Ott has the hot hand and she came up huge on few of the chances (New Hampshire) had.”

“It was pretty hard to see the puck, especially at the end where they had that 6-on-4, I felt like their whole team was standing in the middle,” stated Ott.

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