So, it’s been a crazy season for UVM, who will play only 10 regular-season games this season due to the spread of COVID-19. However, we get the goaltending matchup we’ve been waiting for all season, as the two best goaltenders in Hockey East will square off this weekend at the Gutterson Fieldhouse. UVM Freshmen goalie Jessie McPherson will take on Northeastern’s Senior, Aerin Frankel.
With back-to-back games on the horizon, I don’t expect to see both these goaltenders get the nod back-to-back during this two-game weekend series. Regardless, let’s take a deeper dive into this phenomenal goalie duel, which we will see at least once throughout this weekend.
There’s been a lot of buzz around Jessie McPherson this season, who’s emerged as the No. 1 goaltender in Vermont, picking up five of UVM’s eight starts this season. To open her career, McPherson had a shutout streak of 143:18. Her success has continued throughout the season, as she’s posted a 4-1 record with a GAA of 1.00. This also includes a save percentage of .959. She’s won defensive player of the week and rookie of the week to this point in the season.
Jessie faces her toughest test of the year, as she faces a Northeastern roster that has put up at least four goals in 11 of their 17 games so far this season. Their top forward line has combined for 62 points and defensemen Skylar Fontaine is tied for second on the team in goals. She also leads UVM with five power play goals this season. As well, the Huskies are leading the league, scoring close to four and a half goals per game.
The top goalie in all of college hockey right now is Aerin Frankel, who’s having an incredible season. She owns a record of 13-1-1 with a GAA of 0.60. This also includes a save percentage of .973 and leads the conference with eight shutouts. Prior to last weekend, Frankel, a native of New York, was holding a shutout streak of 366 minutes.
Heading into this season, Frankel owned a 58-16-7 record and a GAA of 1.54. As well, she also added a .943 save percentage. Her 27 career shutouts are a record high in Hockey East. To put it lightly, Frankel doesn’t get beat very much.
Vermont enters Friday’s game with four solid lines that have been producing all season. Theresa Schafzahl leads the Catamounts offensively, as she’s tied for team lead with four goals and eight points. She currently sits second in that category.
Vermont has only been kept off the scoreboard once this year and that was in a 2-0 loss to the UNH Wildcats prior to the new year. They did so, despite having thrown 30 pucks at the net. Senior Alyssa Holmes put it best when speaking on Thursday about having to face Frankel. “Just looking at our goaltenders, Jessie has been playing so well and in practice, it helps us forwards and defence just being able to score on her. I think we’re not really focussed on Frankel, but just being able to put the puck in the net in our own ways in practice has really helped us.”