After losing five consecutive games, the University of Maine women’s hockey team bounced back to sweep their rivals, the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. UMaine entered the weekend needing to win both games in order to avoid the play-in round of the Hockey East Playoffs.
UNH struck first when third-year forward Jada Christia scored during a power play, scoring her sixth goal of the season with assistance from second-year forward Chavonne Truter and fourth-year defender Emily Rickwood. After the first period, the Wildcats led 1-0.
While UNH scored first, it was all UMaine’s game afterwards. The Black Bears got on the board when fourth-year forward Celine Tedenby scored after receiving the puck from second-year forward Morgan Sadler. Tedenby skated from blue line to blue line on her way to scoring the goal, tying the game.
The score remained tied until there was 4:44 left in the third, when second-year defender Elise Murphy’s slap shot from the blue line hit the back of the net, giving the Black Bears a lead they would never give up.
With just 2:15 left in the game, first-year forward Mira Seregély scored her fourth goal of the season thanks to assists from third-year forward Ida Kuoppala and third-year defender Amalie Andersen, helping to add to the Black Bears lead. Immediately after this, Tedenby scored her second goal of the night after the Wildcats pulled their goalie, putting the dagger in the game with UMaine winning 4-1.
Second-year goalie Jordaen Mattison put on a terrific performance, saving 20 of 21 shots against, while UNH’s fourth-year goalie Ava Boutilier stopped 22 of 25 in a losing effort.
The second game of the weekend was senior day for the Black Bears, and the celebration of the seniors continued into the game as UMaine ran away with it, pouding UNH for an easy 5-0 victory.
Third-year forward Ally Trimper scored early on for the Black Bears after getting the puck behind Boutilier for her first goal of the season, assisted by fifth-year forward Maddie Giordano and first-year forward Alyssa Wruble.
In the second, Seregély scored after tipping in fifth-year forward, and captain Taylor Leech’s slap shot, increasing UMaine’s lead to two. UMaine was not finished scoring in the second period, as second-year defender Elise Morphy scored on the power play, assisted by Kuoppala and Tedenby.
By the third, the Black Bears furthered their already great lead and scored twice more. Giordano scored in her final game at Alfond Arena for her sixth goal of the season, with assists coming from Leech and Tedenby. Third-year forward Morgan Trimper, assisted by Seregély and Leech, scored with just six seconds left on the clock for her sixth goal of the season.
Mattison was once again outstanding, saving all 24 shots attempted for her first ever shutout victory. Since struggling against Northeastern, Mattison has bounced back big time, only giving up four goals in the last three games.
Coach Richard Reichenbach talked about Mattison’s performance.
“She had a rough game against Northeastern, we didn’t help her out much. It is nice for her to play well and get some wins this weekend.”
UNH’s third-year goalie Nicky Harnett saved 21 of 26 shots and the Wildcats were completely outplayed by the Black Bears offensively.
With these victories, the Black Bears go to 12-13-1 and will skip the play-in round. They will travel to face Boston College in the opening round on Friday, Feb. 25 at 1p.m.
“We have to make good decisions and we have to make sure we’re attacking in all three zones. And, you know, execute the plays that we’re working on,” Reichenbach said, looking toward the playoffs.
Article updated on Monday, Feb. 21 at 4:29 p.m. after Hockey East announced the date and time of the first round matchup at Boston College