Saints skate to a 1-1 tie with New Hampshire

Saints skate to a 1-1 tie with New Hampshire

Rachael Smith scored halfway through the second period to erase an early deficit and Grace Harrison made 26 saves to lead the 10th-ranked St. Lawrence University women's hockey team in a 1-1 tie against the University of New Hampshire on Friday night at Appleton Arena.

Devan Taylor gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead in the first period, firing a loose puck into a wide open net from the left side after a shot by Marie-Jo Pelletier from the point was saved by Harrison.

The play that led to the Saints' lone goal was started by Kayla Nielsen, who threaded a neutral zone pass to Justine Reyes at the UNH blue line. Reyes dragged the puck between her own skates to get by a defender on her way to the left side of the net. She pushed a pass to Smith, who stuffed the puck past UNH goaltender Ava Boutilier for her second goal of the season to tie the score.

Nielsen had a great chance to give the Saints the lead with 5:27 to play in regulation during the only power play of the game when she one-timed a pass from Reyes at the left side of the net, but Boutilier slid from left to right to shut the door and preserve the tie.

Carlee Turner almost gave UNH the lead in the final minute of regulation, snapping a wrist shot from the right circle, but Harrison made a pad save to send the game into overtime.

St. Lawrence's Maggie McLaughlin had a good scoring chance in overtime, creating a turnover and sending a quick wrist shot from the high slot towards the net, but Boutilier handled it with her glove.

"That was an up and down game tonight and it was fun to be a part of," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells '92. "We definitely got better as the game went on and started to make more plays. Both teams played hard and clean and we will expect the same tomorrow."

The Saints outshot the Wildcats 32-27, including a 13-7 edge in the third period and overtime. Boutilier made 31 saves for UNH.

There was only one penalty called in the game; Taylor was whistled for a body check with less than six minutes to play in the third period.

St. Lawrence moved to 1-1-1 on the season; it was the first game of the season for the Wildcats.

The two teams will meet again at 1 p.m. on Saturday.