Junior defenseman Danielle Rancourt scored the game-winner for the Catamounts
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Danielle Rancourt scored the game-winning goal on the power play in the third period to give the Catamounts and Head Coach Jim Plumer their first win Sunday afternoon at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Birdie Shaw opened the scoring in the first period at the 9:48 mark. She pounced on the rebound off a Taylor McGee point shot from the top of the crease for her second goal in as many games.
The Catamounts responded late in the period, in transition Meghan Huertas feathered a pass to Klara Myren who was cutting into the slot. She hesitated and snapped a shot past Penn State netminder Celine Whitlinger with 3:01 left in the period.
Through two periods the Catamounts held a 30-11 advantage in shots but heading into the final frame the teams were tied at one apiece.
Early in the third period the Catamounts went on penalty kill after an interference call on Gina Repaci. Vermont killed off the Nittany Lions power play and drew a call for checking on Penn State's Taylor McGee. The Catamounts were perfect on the day killing off all four PSU power plays.
After the call on McGee the Catamounts took possession off the faceoff in the Penn State zone. Dayna Colang passed along the blue line to Megan Dalbec. Dalbec put the puck on the net, and from the slot Rancourt tipped it past Whitlinger for her first career game-winning goal 4:51 into the third.
Huertas and Myren teamed up again to seal the deal late in the third period. With the Catamounts under pressure in their zone Myren dumped the puck into the neutral zone. Myren's clearing attempt found Huertas, who had leaked out of the zone, on a breakaway. Huertas went to her backhand and roofed it with 1:56 left in the game.
In her first start of the season Vermont's Kelci Lanthier earned the win, making 18 saves. Whitlinger, making her first career start, made 40 saves for the Nittany Lions.
"These guys deserved a win, they worked hard from the drop of the puck today and I think that's the thing that matters the most," said Plumer. "I think that we're showing poise with the puck and were aggressive on the penalty kill today and I think it gave them fits. Our kids anticipated the plays very well."
The Catamounts will now embark on a season long five-game road trip. They return to action Friday night (7 p.m.) in Potsdam, N.Y. to face the Clarkson Golden Knights.
NOTES: Jim Plumer earns his first career win as a Division I head coach ... The Catamounts were 7-for-7 on the penalty kill in their weekend series ... Sophomore Klara Myren now leads the team in scoring with one goal and two assists ... Before the game the women's hockey team hosted their annual alumnae game.