Three Players To Watch: Vermont Catamounts

With Hockey East having started their season on November 20th for 2020-21, let’s take a look at some key players for the UVM Women’s team who hope to start play later this month. Vermont was originally slated to start on November 18th before announcing a delay. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this would be called for both basketball and hockey.

Bella Parento

Sarah Milligan/Times Argus

Bella Parento joins the Catamounts hockey program after spending last season at Kimball Union Academy. She did so in Plainfield, New Hampshire, where she spent two seasons appointed as team captain. As well, the UVM freshman also spent time playing with the Boston Eagles 19U team.

Despite entering her first year of college, Parento, 19-years-old, has already experienced a high level of play. The native of Montpelier, VT has played in two national finals with the Vermont Shamrocks midget team. Parento should have no problem getting adjusted, as she’s joining a very solid blue line in Burlington.

She’s currently the only defensemen for UVM’s class of 2024 and the only Vermont-born player on the hockey team’s roster for 2020-21. Parento earned All-State First Team honours, as she put up 27 goals along with 13 assists at U32 in her hometown.

Sini Karjalainen

Brian Jenkins/UVM Athletics

When you look at the UVM core on the blue line, one could say it’s absolutely stacked, and this year, it’s led by junior Sini Karjalainen. The Finnish defensemen, headed into her third season, has already etched her name into the UVM record books. Her 19 assists last year were a single-season high for defensemen and second overall for the Catamounts hockey program.

The 24 points she collected last season has her third overall among UVM defensemen. Defensively, she led the team with 34 blocked shots in 2019-20. She was a huge part of both special teams units last season and I don’t expect that to change heading into this season. Standing at five-foot-eight, she’s also shown she can play on either side of the blue line.

In 2016-17, the lefty captained her country during the yearly annual U18 Women’s World Championship. This is a tournament she’d be apart of three times, playing 14 teams while recording one goal.

Theresa Schafzahl

Brian Jenkins/UVM Athletics

Last season, the Cats were led offensively by Theresa Schafzahl, a junior forward from Austria. Schafzahl has solid speed down the wing while also comprised with a very quick shot. She led the team with 14 goals while her 29 points saw her tied for first place.

This doesn’t come as a surprise, as in her freshmen season, she led all rookies in points (17) and was second overall in that category on the team. Prior to joining the Cats, Schafzahl was apart of DC1A and was apart of Team Austria for the Olympic Qualifiers. She skated with the team back in 2016.

Having spent three years with the Austrian National Team, the lefty, in 36 games, managed to score 30 goals while representing her country. In 2016, she placed third in the Skills Challenge in Lillehammer, Norway in the Youth Olympic Games.

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