BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Kate Lesniak (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Stephanie Tewksbury (Marshfield, Mass.) each had a goal and an assist and Kristen Olychuck (Kelowna, B.C.) recorded her first career shutout as Vermont blanked Union, 4-0, in women's college hockey Friday evening at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The victory was the third straight for the Catamounts who equal their victory total of last season.
Vermont opens the season 3-0-0 for the second time in school history and the first time since entering Division I in 2001-02. UVM, as a club member of the ECAC Division III Alliance, began the 1997-98 campaign with three straight victories.
“We didn’t play as we can tonight but it was a good win,” said Vermont coach Tim Bothwell. “Union checked us very well in the in the first period limiting our chances. The third period was our best. We forechecked and moved the puck well. We certainly will have to play better tomorrow.”
Olychuck stopped all 18 shots as Vermont picked up its first shutout since blanking Union, 3-0, on January 29, 2005. She was tested late in the third period making two exceptional saves on Gabriela Wintner and Callee Haywood to preserve the shutout.
“Kristen had a solid game and I am very happy that she made those two big saves at the end,” said Bothwell on his sophomore goalie who lowered her goals against average to 1.00 through the first three games.
On an early power play, Molly Morrison (So. Burlington, Vt.) opened the scoring punching in a rebound of a shot by Jul Sifers (New London, Conn.) for her second goal in as many games. Lesniak, on an assist from Tewksbury, scored her fourth goal of the season to make it 2-0 at the first intermission.
After a scoreless second period, Sifers set up Sarah Smiddy (Grand Rapids, Mich.) for her second goal of the season. Tewksbury closed out the scoring rapping home a rebound of a Lesniak shot with just over four minutes left.
The Catamounts out shot the Dutchwomen, 35-18, for the game and went 1-for-2 on the power play. Lundy Day made 31 saves for Union (0-3-0).
Lesniak, who had four goals and 12 points over her first three seasons, now has four goals and two assists in UVM’s first three games. Morrison (two goals, two assists) and Sifers (one goal, three assists), two of Vermont’s eight rookies in tonight’s lineup, each have four points to start their collegiate careers. Vermont wraps up its homestand hosting Union Saturday at 4:00pm at Gutterson Fieldhouse. 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 Round Up members are admitted free to all home women’s hockey games.