The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team got three goals from underclassmen on Saturday, but the University of New Hampshire used a pair of third period goals to defeat the Saints at the Whittemore Center in Durham, NH by the score of 5-3.
The win moves the Wildcats to 5-2-0 on the season, while the Saints fall to 1-4-1 in non-conference action.
"New Hampshire outworked us in many areas today," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells. "I did not have us prepared for the game. We have a solid week now to prepare for our first league competition next weekend."
First-year student Bailey Habscheid scored her first collegiate goal for the Saints to put the visitors on top a mere 2:44 into regulation. The Wymark, SK native put a shot past Lindsey Minton, with assists going to sophomore Kayla Sullivan and first-year Rylee Smith for the early advantage.
The Wildcats would respond with a pair of goals only 2:09 apart to take a 2-1 lead after 20:00 minutes. Hannah Armstrong scored her second goal of the season at 8:28 to tie the score, and then Kristine Horn put the home team on top 2-1 at 10:37 with her first goal of 2010-11. Despite being outshot 10-7, UNH finished the period with a one-goal advantage.
The momentum stayed in New Hampshire's corner in the second period, as the Wildcats used an 8-5 edge in shots to score the only goal of the period to take a 3-1 lead. Courtney Birchard's third goal of the year gave UNH a two-goal lead at 7:06 of the period, as she beat St. Lawrence first-year goaltender Caitlyn Lahonen. Paige Goloubef and Katie Brock assisted on the goal.
Kristina Lavoie's power play goal seemed to put the game out of reach early in the third period. Lavoie scored her third goal of the season at 3:26 of the final stanza, with helpers going to Birchard and Horn for the 4-1 lead.
However, St. Lawrence would respond with back-to-back goals less than five minutes apart to climb back into the contest at 4-3. Smith added her fifth goal of the season and second point of the game at 5:53, with junior Josee Belanger assisting to pull the Saints within two goals at 4-2. Sophomore Kelly Sabatine then followed on the power play at 10:38 to bring the Scarlet and Brown to within a single goal at 4-3. Junior Alley Bero and sophomore Brooke Fernandez were credited with assists.
Despite their best efforts, the Saints were unable to score the tying goal late in the game. Lavoie would put the game away for UNH with her second goal of the game with only 2:41 remaining in the contest, capping the scoring at 5-3.
Minton was key in net for the Wildcats, as she turned in a 24-save performance including 10 big saves in the third period to pick up the victory. Lahonen, who made 17 stops, suffered her first collegiate loss. St. Lawrence closed with a 27-22 advantage in shots on goal, while both teams had a power play tally (SLU 1-of-5, UNH 1-of-4).
St. Lawrence will open the 2010-11 ECAC Hockey regular season schedule next weekend at Appleton Arena. The Saints will open against Rensselaer on Friday, October 29 at 7:00pm, before facing Union the following day. The time for Saturday's game against the Dutchwomen was moved to 2:00pm.