It was opening weekend in Burlington, Vermont and it had a very different feel, including the absence of fans, however, they were replaced with cardboard cutouts in the seats. Let’s take a look at how the UVM women’s team faired in their weekend series hosting the UNH Wildcats.
Freshmen Frenzy On Opening Night
It was opening night for the UVM women’s hockey team and it was the freshmen class that would be on display in a convincing 4-2 victory. This was a perfect start for a UVM team who’s struggled the last few seasons, but looks promising to start this season.
However, it would be the University of New Hampshire that would strike first, as junior Lauren Martin would beat Natalie Ferenc on a shot that would slip in right over her shoulder. Natalie Mlynkova would get the Catamounts on the board two minutes later, in which would prove to be the turning point of the game. The freshman would finish the night adding on an assist with the opening goal.
Bella Parento would also pick up her first goal on a shot from the blue-line that would just barely trickle past backstop Ava Boutilier. This would give the Catamounts a 2-1 lead and one that they wouldn’t look back on. The Montpellier native would have a solid all-around game in her college debut, which included breaking up a chance from the Wildcats early on.
Senior Val Caldwell would later find her own rebound to make it a 3-1 game, as she would also add two assists for a three-point evening. For her performance, she was also named Hockey East Player of the Week. Maddie Skelton would be the third and final freshmen to score on opening night on a beauty of a goal from the wing following a perfect pass on a two-on-one from Lily Humphery. Humphery would finish the evening with three assists. Natalie Ferenc would have a quiet night, stopping 14 shots of the 16 she faced.
Vermont Offensive Goes Dormant In Loss To Wildcats
It was a different story for the Catamounts women’s team on the back-end of their back-to-back weekend series against the Wildcats. The Catamounts had an early chance to open the scoring, as forward Oliva Kilberg was given a breakaway opportunity, but was stopped by Ava Boutilier, who would get the nod after the loss the previous evening. The first period was evenly played between the two teams, as both took ten shots respectively, but Vermont finished the first with a slight edge after having some solid opportunities during their second power play.
The Catamounts would almost get on the board, as Natalie Mlykova would put the puck behind Boutilier, however, Theresa Schafzah would get called for interference. Vermont would finish the second frame strong, however, it wouldn’t carry on into the third period. The Wildcats would score two goals in two minutes, starting with Emily Rickwood, who would net the puck on a shot from the point.
Lauren Martin would add a goal a minute later, this giving the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. In the dying minutes, Vermont would have some solid chances, as they would be awarded a five-on-three before being charged with a too many players penalty. This was called while Vermont tried to pull Ferenc. UVM will have this weekend off before hosting Holy Cross on New Years Day at 6:00pmET.