January 5, 2008

Bears Play #1 New Hampshire Tight, But Fall, 3-1

Jan. 5, 2008

Box Score

Providence, RI - As has been the case all year, top competition brought out the best in the Brown women's hockey team. However, the Bears (1-11-2) eventually fell to #1-ranked New Hampshire (18-3-0), 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at Meehan Auditorium. Sadie Wright-Ward scored two goals, including an empty-netter with 55 seconds remaining, to lead the Wildcats to a win.

The Bears hung tough against the nation's top team, while junior goaltender Nicole Stock (Buffalo Grove, IL), made 39 saves, including 22 in the first period, to keep things close. Brown grew stronger while UNH seemed to tire as the game went on - the Wildcats had a 23-6 shot advantage in the first period, but held just a 14-6 advantage in the second before the Bears took a 9-5 shot advantage in the third.

UNH jumped on the board first 13:20 into the opening period. Leah Craig, who would record assists on all three New Hampshire goals, put a shot on Stock that was saved, but with a pile of bodies in front of the net, Wright-Ward was able to put a rebound in on the right side, out of Stock's reach.

The Bears were able to tie the game on a similar play at 5:17 in the second. Sophomore Sasha Van Muyen (Orillia, ONT) had the initial shot, which was saved by UNH freshman Kayley Herman, and senior captain Rylee Olewinski (Burr Ridge, IL) got a few good swats at the puck, eventually slipping it in for the tying score. The goal was Olewinski's third of the year, while Van Muyen recorded her team-leading fifth assist.

The Wildcats reclaimed the lead at 13:38 on a power-play breakaway, as Craig collected the puck in the neutral zone and broke in on Stock. Craig slipped a pass across the front of Stock to Jennifer Hitchcock, and while the Brown goalie got a piece of the shot while sliding to her right, it trickled in for the eventual game-winner.

Stock continued to make great saves, including stoning Hitchcock on a one-on-one breakaway with two minutes remaining in the second on a beautiful save with her left pad, as the Bears turned up the offensive pressure. However, when Stock came out for an extra attacker with 1:23 remaining, the Wildcats were able to take advantage, with Wright-Ward scoring on the empty net at 19:05.

For the game, UNH held a 42-21 shot advantage. Herman made 20 saves for the Wildcats, including nine in the third period.

On Sunday, the Bears will play the first of five straight road contests, as they ship up to Boston for a 2 p.m. tilt with Northeastern.

#1 New Hampshire 1 1 1 - 3
Brown 0 1 0 - 1

1st Period - NH, Wright-Ward (Craig), 13:20. Penalties - NH, 3-6; B, 1-2.
2nd Period - B, Olewinski (Van Muyen), 5:17; NH, Hitchcock (Craig, Garland), PP, 13:38. Penalties - NH, 1-2; B, 2-4.
3rd period - NH, Wright-Ward (Craig, Hitchcock), EN, 19:05. Penalties - NH, 2-4; B, 0-0.
Saves - NH, Herman (59:45) 6-5-9 - 20; B, Stock (59:32) 22-13-4 - 39.