Women's Hockey: Catamounts rout Wildcats, 5-1

By Max Sullivan
On February 16, 2014

The UNH women's hockey team lost 5-1 Sunday afternoon to Vermont, despite outshooting the Catamounts 39-23. The Wildcats' record dropped to 9-20-2, 4-13-2 in WHEA. Vermont improved to 15-13-4, 11-7-1 in WHEA.

UNH kept the deficit to just one goal until the 11:08 mark in the third period, when Vermont scored the first of three consecutive goals.  Catamount defenseman Greer Vogl took a wrist shot from the high slot in the UNH zone, just outside the left faceoff circle, and sent the puck through UNH goaltender Marie-Eve Jean's five hole, making the score 3-1.

Vermont increased their lead at 12:04 in the third when Brittany Zuback stole the puck just outside her offensive zone with no one in front of her. She skated in, slowed down as she approached Jean and easily put the puck past her stick side, making the score 4-1.

With only 1:58 remaining in the game, Vermont forward Dayna Colang made the final score of 5-1 when she skated to the slot in front of Jean between two Wildcat defenders and ripped a shot past the goalie's stick side.

The Wildcats started out strong, opening the scoring in the first period with a power play goal by senior forward and captain Nicole Gifford. On their second power play of the game, Gifford received the puck a few feet above the left faceoff circle. She shot a laser over Vermont goaltender Roxanne Douville's stick side shoulder to the back of the net. The goal went in at 9:28, making the score 1-0.

Less than two minutes later, Vermont found their first goal with a two-on-one rush. Vermont forward Brittany Zuback found the puck in the neutral zone, creating an odd man rush opportunity with line mate Amanda Pelkey to her right and just one Wildcat in front of her. The two Catamounts entered the UNH zone, one on each side of the lone UNH defender. Zuback passed from the left faceoff circle to Pelkey on the opposite side of the zone, who shot from the right circle over Jean's glove hand, tying the game at one goal apiece at 11:11.

The second Vermont goal came with only six seconds remaining in the period. On the power play, Vermont forward Victoria Andreakos found the puck just a few feet away from the net on the left side, but she hesitated to shoot despite Jean being out of position. Instead, she passed to Zuback on the opposite side of the slot, also a few feet from Jean. Zuback passed it right back Andreakos, who pulled the trigger and tapped the puck past Jean, making the score 2-1.

The Wildcats nearly scored roughly eight minutes into the second period when senior forward Jessica Hitchcock stole a puck on a penalty kill and carried it into the Vermont end, where only one defenseman stood in her way. She failed to score on her first shot on Douville, but the rebound bounced past the net and into the left corner, where Gifford scrapped with two Catamounts to get the puck back out to the front of the net where Hitchcock still stood. Hitchcock whacked hard and jammed the puck through Douville's legs, but the puck trickled past the right post, missing the goal. At the next whistle, Hitchcock skated to the bench shaking her head, frustrated.

This was UNH's eighth straight loss, but they remain in seventh place with 10 points, a point ahead of Maine, who lost 4-1 to Boston College on Sunday. In that game, BC clinched first place in WHEA.

The Wildcats play a home-and-home series against Northeastern next Saturday and Sunday for their final games of the season. Face offs for both games are at 2 p.m.

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