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Black Bears score 5-4 in overtime in their game against Providence College on Friday, Nov. 15. Photo by Matt Lavoie

Black Bears defeat Friars 5-4

The University of Maine women’s ice hockey team defeated the Providence College Friars 5-4 in overtime to pick up their first win at home this season.

The action started off quickly, with both teams tearing up the ice on offensive exchanges through the first period. Less than two minutes into the contest, Maine was given a power play as the Friars’ second-year forward Sara Hjalmarsson was called for a tripping penalty and sent to the sin bin. Taking advantage of their numbers, Maine’s offense went to work. 

Second-year forward Liga Miljone took to the net, then dished a pass across the crease to fourth-year forward Brittany Colton, who stopped the puck with her skate, then proceeded to bury the puck behind the Friars’ second-year goaltender Sandra Abstreiter.

The Black Bears kept their foot on the gas and increased their lead to 2-0 six minutes into the opening frame. Fourth-year forward Vendula Pribylova brought the puck across the blue line into the Friars zone, then dished a pass to the right post of the Providence goal where fourth-year forward Tereza Vanisova was waiting. Vanisova corralled the pass and tapped it in behind a sliding Abstreiter.

On the ensuing faceoff, Hjalmarsson redeemed herself for her earlier penalty, taking the puck drop on a breakaway down the ice. Hjalmarsson sent a wrist shot top shelf over Maine’s fourth-year goaltender Carly Jackson to bring the score within one point.

Providence, given a power-play opportunity with five minutes left in the first period, tied the game at 2-2. Fourth-year forward Neve Van Pelt delivered the puck to fourth-year forward Meaghan Rickard from behind the net and finished with a one-timer in front of the crease. 

Midway through the second period, first-year defender Nicole Pateman scored her first collegiate goal, as she clapped a slapshot from the blue line that sailed in over Abstreiter’s glove-side shoulder. Providence answered back with under two minutes to go in the second. Rickard passed the puck up to fourth-year forward Whitney Dove, who made a difficult wrist shot in traffic that sailed in under Jackson’s arm.

The Friars would score again as fourth-year forward Kathleen McHugh took off from the faceoff in a one-on-one breakaway, and sent a perfect wrist shot over Jackson’s stick-side shoulder, going top shelf to take the lead. Second-year forward Caroline Peterson and Dove picked up assists on the play.

The Black Bears continued to fight and first-year forward Ida Kuoppala scored her fourth goal of the season, firing a slap shot from just inside the blue line, which flew past Abstreiter to tie the game. Colton and third-year forward Maddie Giordano picked up assists on the play.

In overtime, both teams exchanged heated offensive series, with Jackson and Abstreiter being stalwarts through four minutes. The Black Bears scored the game-winner with just over one minute remaining in the overtime period, as Colton put a puck on the edge of the crease that Vanisova punched home.

Maine improves to 5-4-2 on the season, and 3-3-1 in Hockey East play. Maine will face off against Northeastern University on Saturday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 24 at Matthews Arena in Boston, Massachusetts.

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