#4 WOMEN'S HOCKEY FELLED 2-1 AT VERMONT
BURLINGTON, Vt. – Erin Wente broke a 1-1
tie with 2:28 remaining in the game to lift the University of
Vermont women’s ice hockey team to Wednesday night’s
2-1 victory against fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire in
Hockey East action at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
UNH is now 15-5-5 overall and 9-4-2-0 in Hockey East. UVM, which had lost all previous 21 games vs. the Wildcats, improved to 9-18-1, 3-11-1-0 with its third win of the season vs. a nationally-ranked team.
In the opening minutes of the first period, UNH created a dangerous scoring opportunity when a Brittany Skudder (Plainview, N.Y.) pass from the right circle found Sarah Cuthbert (East Falmouth, Mass.) at the back door, but Vermont goalie Kristen Olychuck (22 saves) was in position to make the save.
The Catamounts countered with a dangerous flurry in front of the net that produced a 1-0 lead at 3:46. Minton stopped the initial shots by Channing Ahbe and Teddy Fortin, but Chelsea Rapin jammed at the loose puck and it trickled behind UNH goalie Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas; 14 saves) and inside the right post.
Less than a minute later, the Wildcats generated a dangerous rush in which Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) carried the puck on the left wing and saucered a centering pass to the slot, where Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) redirected a shot into Olychuck’s torso.
New Hampshire was awarded a power play at 12:08 and sustained possession in the offensive zone, but generated just one shot on goal in that two-minute skater advantage.
In the 15th minute, UVM’s Emily Walsh fired a shot from the inside of the left circle that caromed off the post.
The Wildcats had a 9-6 shot advantage in the first period but trailed at the intermission, 1-0.
With just over four minutes played in the second stanza, Katie Brock (Marblehead, Mass.) snapped a low shot from the high slot that caromed off the left post.
In the 13th minute, Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) led a 2-on-1 rush down the right wing. She centered the puck to the low slot and Paton’s redirection was turned aside on a sprawling effort by Olychuck.
Vermont was whistled for a penalty on the play, however, and UNH capitalized on the ensuing power play to tie the score, 1-1, at 14:08. Paton circled from the right wing behind the net and left the puck at the left doorstep for Julie Allen (Brampton, Ontario). The puck continued off her stick to the top of the crease and Lavoie deposited a low shot past Olychuck.
New Hampshire generated an 8-3 shot advantage in the second period for a 17-9 edge through 40 minutes.
At 7:45 of the third period, Raylen Dziengelewski (Southwick, Mass.) had her initial shot from the slot blocked but she retained possession and her low, screened shot was stopped by Olychuck, who lunged to cover the puck with Allen on the doorstep.
In the 11th minute, with the Catamounts on their third power play of the night, Minton stopped two shots from point-blank range, the second off the stick of Kailey Nash at the top of the crease.
With three minutes to play, UNH had a 3-on-2 rush in which Allen carried the puck down the slot and wristed a shot that Olychuck snared out of the air with her glove.
On the ensuing faceoff, UVM worked the puck down the ice and generated a flurry in front of the cage in which Minton denied Walsh, but Wente scored off the rebound to put the home team back in front at 17:32.
New Hampshire pulled Minton in favor of an extra skater with 1:20 remaining, but the Catamounts defense did not allow a shot and cleared the puck to the opposite end of the ice with 60 seconds on the clock. The Wildcats were whistled for icing as they attempted to break out of the zone, and that forced Minton back into the net with 50 seconds to go.
UNH reentered the zone, but once again was thwarted by UVM’s defense, which got the puck out of the zone with 20 seconds remaining. The Wildcats had one last rush, but the Catamounts knocked the puck into the left corner with six seconds remaining to secure the victory.
Lavoie extended her goal-scoring streak to nine games with her 14th tally of the season.
New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 6 at home against Boston University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 2 pm.