BURLINGTON, Vt. - Six different Catamounts scored Friday night as the 11th ranked Vermont women's hockey team defeated Merrimack 6-2 on Rally Against Cancer Night presented by Mascoma Bank. Vermont's 19th win of the season marked the 300th in Head Coach Jim Plumer's career. Vermont is now 14-8-1 in league play and with tonight's results they remain in second place in Hockey East with 47 points, four ahead of Providence.
"First, we got three valuable Hockey East points tonight and it's good to play well and get rewarded with the win," Head Coach Jim Plumer said. "I was really pleased to see so many names on the scoresheet and to get a power play goal. Next, I want to thank the nearly 500 fans who braved the cold to come watch us play tonight. It says a lot about the connection this team is building with the community.
Finally, I want to thank this staff and this team. They make coming to the rink every day so much fun and I am blessed to share this honor with them. I've been really fortunate to work with and coach lots of amazing people over the past 20 years. They all have made this possible."
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After a tight first period Vermont's Lily Humphrey opened the scoring with 42 seconds left in the opening frame. Sara Levesque kept a puck in at the blue line by firing a shot towards Merrimack's Emma Gorski. From right in front Humphrey redirected the puck past Gorski for her fifth goal of the season. Maddy Skelton was credited with the secondary assist on the play.
- Hailey Burns doubled the Catamounts advantage 89 seconds into the second period. In transition Burns took a feed from Lara Beecher and cut to the net. Burns centering attempt deflected off a Merrimack defender and fooled Gorski. Burns' fourth goal of the season was also assisted by Sara Levesque.
- Natálie Mlýnková's team-leading 18th goal of the season made it 3-0 at the 6:07 mark of the second period. In transition, she cut to the middle of the ice and fired a shot labeled for the top corner. Gorski got a piece of the shot but it still found the back of the net. Sini Karjalainen earned an assist on the play.
- With 4:05 to play in the middle frame Corinne McCool struck for her 12th goal of the year to make it 4-0. On the cycle Anna Podein got the back to McCool out of the corner through two Merrimack defenders. McCool skated into the slot and blew a shot past Gorski. Levesque picked up her second assist of the game on the play.
- The Warriors clapped right back late in the second period. Allison Reeb and Alexa Pongo scored 38 seconds apart to cut the Vermont lead in half heading to the third period.
- With 6:33 to play in the final frame Skelton added an insurance marker for the Catamounts on the power play. From the point Ellice Murphy fired a wrist shot just as Skelton skated to the front of the net. Skelton deflected the shot and it slipped past Gorski for Skelton's fourth of the season. Evelyne Blais-Savoie earned the secondary assist on the play.
- Theresa Schafzahl notched her 16th goal of the season with 1:17 to play to cap the scoring for the Catamounts. With heavy traffic in front of the net Schafzahl pounded home the rebound on a Karjalainen attempt to make it 6-2.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- 13 of the Catamounts 19 skaters had at least a point Friday night.
- Sara Levesque posted a new career-high with three assists. It was also her first career three-point game. It was her sixth career multi-point game and third this season.
- Dating back to February 9, 2020 Catamounts are 26-0-0 when scoring four or more goals.
- Vermont's Jessie McPherson won her 18th game of the season Friday night making 19 saves. Her 18 wins are a single-season Vermont record and tied for fifth most in the NCAA.
- With tonight's win, Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate $100 to King Street Youth Center, as part of the Cats Win, Community Wins initiative. Since the campaigns inauguration in 2017, Vermont Mutual Insurance Group has donated over $80,000 to local non-profits.
- With today's 6-2 decision, Community Bank N.A. will donate $450 to Special Olympics Vermont. Community Bank, N.A. donates $75 per goal to Special Olympics Vermont for every goal the men's and women's team scores this season.
The Catamounts final home weekend of the regular season is next weekend as the Catamounts face New Hampshire and Maine. UVM hosts UNH at 6 p.m. on Friday, February 10. Then on Saturday, February 11 at 3 p.m. Vermont will face the Black Bears on Senior Day presented by the UVM Alumni Association.