Dec. 8, 2009


by Amy Farnum

Providence College made history last weekend, becoming the first Hockey East team to defeat New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H., since the league originated in 2002-03.   The Friars upended the No. 3 Wildcats, 4-1, on Dec. 5 for their first win at the Whittemore Center since 1997.

Freshman forward Jessica Vella netted two goals in the contest as she helped the Friars snap UNH’s 17-game league unbeaten streak.  The native of Pickering, Ontario, the league’s Rookie of the Week award for her performance which included her first two career goals.

UNH had entered the game with a 69-0-9 record at home against conference foes since the Hockey East started action in 2002-03.

RED HOT: Harvard senior goaltender Christina Kessler posted back-to-back shutouts in a two-game series with Minnesota last weekend as the Crimson became the first team to hold the Golden Gophers scoreless since 2007.

The native of Oakville, Ontario, turned back 24 shots in a 1-0 win over Minnesota on Dec. 4 and followed it up with 29 saves in a 0-0 tie the next day.  Harvard was scoreless on seven power-play attempts in the series.

Kessler was selected ECAC Hockey Goalie of the Week for her performance.  She is now 62-16-5 all-time, and ranks second on the school’s all-time goalie wins list, just one shy of the program record.  Kessler also is the current NCAA career record holder in save percentage (.942), just one point ahead of Wisconsin’s Jessie Vetter (2006-09), who holds the mark at .941.
Riding a seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2), Harvard is back on the ice against Connecticut on Dec. 8.  

LEADING LAKER: Mercyhurst College’s Bailey Bram may lead the nation with 0.93 goals per game, but it was her assists last week against Robert Morris that garnered a College Hockey America Player of the Week award.

The sophomore tallied four assists in the top-ranked Lakers’ 6-2 win over RMU, including two helpers on a pair of short-handed goals within a 19-second span.  Bram also ranks fifth in the nation with 1.67 points per game, and 17th with 0.73 assists per game.

Mercyhurst travels to No. 1 St. Lawrence for a two-game non-conference series on Dec. 11-12.

HOLDING THEIR GROUND: No. 8 Cornell will head into winter break tied with Clarkson for first place in the ECAC Hockey standings with 16 points.  The Big Red has gone 7-1-2 in league play this season, including victories over four teams ranked in the Top 10 of the country.

The Big Red picked up three points with a 2-2 tie against Yale and 5-0 win over Brown last weekend, sparked by the efforts of sophomore Chelsea Karpenko.

Karpenko assists on both Cornell goals against the Bulldogs, including a helper on Melanie Jue’s game-tying goal with 13 seconds remaining in regulation.  She followed it up with the game-winning goal and an assist against the Bears for her third multi-point contest of the season, and was named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week for her contributions.

Cornell returns to the ice on Jan. 5, when it hosts Syracuse in the first-ever meeting with second-year program.