BURLINGTON, Vt. --A third-period power play goal by Karen Sentoff (Liverpool, N.Y.) lifted Vermont to a 3-2 upset of league-leading Connecticut in women's Hockey East action Thursday afternoon at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The victory is the Catamounts first in conference play this season and is possibly Vermont's biggest win in its sixth season in Division I.
"This was a tremendous effort by the entire team," said Vermont head coach Tim Bothwell. "It was our best checking effort for an entire 60 minutes all season. We worked real hard to win a lot of battles and we were rewarded with a big win."
The Catamounts (3-14-2, 1-6-1 Hockey East) avenged a pair of defeats to UConn (11-7-1, 7-2-1) back in early October when the Huskies swept a two-game series by an 11-2 margin. The win also was UVM’s first against a Hockey East foe in 25 games dating back to Nov. 12, 2005, a stretch that included a tie with Northeastern earlier this season.
At 9:15 of the third period, Sentoff redirected a shot from the point by freshman Melanie Greene (Queensbury, N.Y.) for her third goal of the season. Gabe Worzella (Madison, Conn.) also picked up an assist on the play. Vermont’s team defense, led by goalie Jenilee Roy (Sandown, N.H.) then survived a late UConn barrage as the Huskies outshot the Cats, 14-4, in the third period.
Connecticut’s Jaclyn Hawkins opened the scoring just under five minutes into the contest with a power play goal. The Catamounts bounced back in the second period as Caroline Donahue (Westwood, Mass.) scored her first of the season 49 seconds into the stanza. She rapped one past Husky goalie Brittany Wilson (eight saves) after a great individual effort carrying the puck in from center ice.
Less than five minutes later, Jessica Murphy (Shoreview, Minn.) gave UVM a 2-1 lead also with her first goal of the year. On assists from Sentoff and Ashley Keane (Sherborn, Mass.), Murphy’s low wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle slipped past Wilson. UConn tied it at 10:29 on another power play after UVM could not clear the puck from the goalmouth. Leslie Hurlburt’s blast from 15 feet beat Roy high to the left side.
The Huskies, who had a 25-11 advantage in shots for the game, went 2-for-5 in the power play while Vermont cashed in on one of its three chances. UVM has scored power play goals in back-to-back games after tallying only one in its first 17 contests.
Roy finished with 23 saves while receiving a great deal of defensive support from the other Catamounts who as a team blocked or deflected wide 17 other UConn shots.
UVM remains home to host Providence Saturday at 2:00pm at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Saturday’s game with the Friars is Family Fun Day at Gutterson Fieldhouse as children ages 12 and under will be admitted free with a paying adult. Also, following the game all fans are welcome to ‘Skate With The Cats’. For ticket information, please contact the UVM Athletic Ticket Office at 1-866-4CAT-TIX or log on to uvmathletics.com. UVM students (with a valid ID) and all Rally’s Roundup members are admitted free to all home women’s hockey games.