With a 7-11-2 record, the January 15 contest against Union College was crucial for the New Hampshire Wildcats' postseason aspirations. The Union Dutchwomen entered the contest with a 7-11-3 mark and were looking to build momentum.
Standing between the pipes for the Wildcats was Jenn Gilligan, sporting a 4-1-1 mark. The second-year player from Maple Ridge, British Columbia, lost her first contest of the year against Boston College on December 5. The first frame found Wildcats veterans Arielle O’Neill and Kristina Lavoie connecting on the only goal of the period at 10:36 as O’Neill buried the puck past Dutchwomen backstop Shenae Lundberg for her fourth score of the season.
Heading into the second stanza, both clubs combined for three goals. Rhianna Kurio logged a power-play marker at 4:23 to even the score. Wildcats player Jenna Lascelle was sitting in the penalty box as she was serving a tripping call.
Less than six minutes later, New Hampshire responded with their own power-play goal as Bryanne Panchuk was called for holding the stick. Second-generation player Hannah Armstrong (daughter of former Toronto Maple Leafs player Tim Armstrong) scored at 10:04 to give New Hampshire the lead. Assists were credited to Nicole Gifford and Megan Armstrong (no relation).
Merely 45 seconds after Armstrong’s goal, the Dutchwomen would tie the contest. Jessica Kaminsky buried the puck past Gilligan as Courtney Turner and Kelly McGrath earned the assist. Before the period would end, Union found itself back on the power play. Hannah Armstrong was penalized for holding the stick at the 16:49 mark, but Gilligan remained her composure as both clubs entered the third period tied at two apiece.
Megan Armstrong would log the game-winning tally at 3:17 of the final frame. Kailey Chappell and Nicole Gifford both assisted on the goal, as Gifford had her second assist of the contest. The freshman from Edina, Minn., would strike again with only 68 seconds left in the contest as the Wildcats added to their lead. Armstrong would finish the contest with three points while Gilligan made 28 saves for her fifth victory of the season.
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