PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Freshman Sam Faber’s shorthanded goal with 8:22 remaining in regulation lifted No. 2 New Hampshire to a 2-1 Hockey East victory against No. 10 Providence at Schneider Arena on Wednesday night.
The host Friars (13-9-4, 7-4-2) led UNH 1-0 at the first intermission for the second time in five days but once again could not hold on. The win lifted UNH (22-2-1, 11-1-1) to an 18-game unbeaten streak.
On Faber’s goal, Sadie Wright-Ward picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and broke in behind the Friars’ defense. She cut from the left circle to the front of the net and was stopped by PC goaltender Jana Bugden, but Faber rushed down the slot and swept the puck into the net. Faber’s second shorthander this season extending UNH’s nation-leading total to eight.
Providence went on the power play for the fifth time with 3:24 remaining and called time out, but 13 seconds later the Friars took a penalty that nullified the advantage.
Bugden was pulled in favor of an extra skater with 1:30 remaining and PC went on the power play with 1:11 to play to give the home team a two-skater advantage. But the staunch Wildcats’ defense did not allow PC to enter the offensive zone the rest of the way to preserve the lead.
UNH goaltender Melissa Bourdon made 15 saves. Bugden stopped 36, including 20 in the middle frame.
Providence led 1-0 at the end of one period when Kristin Gigliotti scored at 4:31. Ashley Payton picked up a loose puck just outside the Friars’ offensive zone to create a 2-on-1 break with Gigliotti. Payton carried the puck into the left circle and feathered a pass across to Gigliotti, who wristed a shot under the crossbar.
In the second period, the Wildcats generated a number of frenzies in front of the net and a 21-5 shot advantage in the stanza, but only had a game-tying goal to show for it.
Leah Craig netted the game-tying goal on the power play at 15:41. Leading to the goal, the initial shot by Martine Garland was stopped by Bugden, but Jennifer Hitchcock poked the puck from the low slot to Craig at the right post for the easy finish.
New Hampshire returns to action Saturday at Boston College. The next Wildcat home game on Feb. 12 concludes the season series with Providence.