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Junior goaltender Kelci Lanthier made 30 saves for the Catamounts
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Senior Kailey Nash scored the game winning goal with 4:58 left in the third period to lift Vermont to a 3-2 win over Providence in its Hockey East opener Friday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Providence opened the scoring 7:11 into the second period. Abby Gauthier fed Laura Veharanta behind the net. Veharanta stepped out just to the left of the goal and beat Vermont's Kelci Lanthier from a sharp angle for her first goal of the season.
Junior Erin Wente tied the game seven minutes later on a breakaway. Wente took a pass from Meghan Huertas, cut down the right side entering the Friars zone and beat Genevieve Lacasse with a backhand at the 14:11 mark.
Vermont took its first lead of the game just 40 seconds into the third period. Freshman forward Klara Myren scored her first collegiate goal when her shot deflected off a Providence defenseman and found the back of the net. Breanne Sundquist and Megan Dalbec were credited with assists on the play.
The Friars tied the game at the 10:13 mark of the third period. A Rebecca Morse shot was turned aside by Lanthier but Allison Micheletti collected the rebound and scored her first collegiate goal to even the game.
Nash put the Catamounts ahead for good with a delayed penalty coming against Providence. With the extra attacker on the ice, a scramble ensued in front of Lacasse. Nash took a swing at the loose puck and it found its way to the back of the net through a maze of traffic. Nash's first goal of the season was assisted by Krystal Baumann and Emily Walsh.
Lanthier earned her first career Hockey East win with a 30-save effort. Lacasse made 19 saves for the Friars.
"Providence played a pretty hard tough game, I like the way we battled from the beginning of the game," said Head Coach Tim Bothwell. "It feels good to get the win, but we know it's going to be a real tough battle tomorrow night."
The win moves Vermont to 1-3-2 overall and 1-0-0 in Hockey East play. The loss drops Providence to 0-5-2 and 0-1-0 in league play. Friday marked the first time Vermont has ever won its Hockey East opener.
Vermont returns to action tomorrow afternoon (4 p.m.) when they close out their weekend series against Providence.
NOTES: Vermont has won two straight against Providence at Gutterson Fieldhouse ... After Friday, 17 of Vermont's 18 skaters have registered at least a point this season ... Krystal Baumann continues to lead the team in scoring with two goals and two assists ... Vermont is 3-1-0 in its last four Hockey East home games ... Saturday is Team Poster Day courtesy of UPS Store Downtown, UVM Bookstore, and the Catamount Store.