|UMaine||University of Vermont|
BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Maine women’s ice hockey team closed out the year of 2017 with a bang as they took two wins and battled to a tie with Vermont over the past week. The Black Bears (12-6-3, 6-3-2 WHEA) defeated the Catamounts (5-12-3, 3-8-2 WHEA), 4-1, at the Gutterson Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon in an aggressive match, playing shorthanded nearly half the game.
Escaping three Catamount power plays in the first period, the Black Bears stood strong as a unit, helping goaltender Carly Jackson out defensively by jumping out in front of shots. Finally back in full force on the ice again, Brooke Stacey led an attack firing shot after shot at Sydney Scobee in net. After Stacey’s third consecutive shot, Catherine Tufts took a whack at it finding the back of the net. Earning the secondary assist after Stacey was Anna Zikova, to help put Maine ahead, 1-0, with 1:20 left to play in the opening stanza.
After three late penalty calls to close out the first period, the Catamounts started with a 4-3 advantage on the ice for the first 44 seconds of the second period, until both teams released a player leaving Vermont on a regular power play. With just 35 seconds to go before Maine killed their fifth penalty of the game, a bustle of traffic stood in between Taylor Willard skating with the puck and Jackson in net. With her view obstructed, Jackson couldn’t get to the puck in time to stop Willard’s shot from tying up the game 1-1, just 1:25 into the middle frame. Both Eve-Audrey Picard and Taylor Drobot picked up assists on the play.
The Black Bears pulled ahead, 3-1, in the final minutes of the second period after a bouncing puck was left pin balling off of bodies in front of the crease, until Stacey calmed it down sending the puck over the goal line. Under a minute later on a 2-on-1 attack, Daria Tereshkina and Stacey passed the puck amongst themselves keeping Scobee on her toes until Tereshkina released the puck towards net to cushion Maine’s lead with 2:42 left in the period. Tereza Vanisova and Alyson Matteau earned their first assists of the game while Zikova and Stacey added on their second.
Vermont once again opened up the final period on a power play, but struggled to capitalize. Just minutes later, Maine found themselves with the advantage on the ice as the worked the puck around the perimeter with ease. On a perfectly placed pass through two defenders by Tufts, Lydia Murray received the puck one-timing it in the backdoor. Helping achieve the Black Bears first power play goal of the day, Matteau grabbed back-to-back assists, as Maine led 4-1.
In between the pipes, Jackson registered 28 saves to earn the win to improve her record to 10-5-3 going into 2018. As for the Catamounts, Scobee held off 27 shots after being pulled from net for a total of 3 minutes and six seconds to give Vermont an extra attacker on the ice in hopes of a comeback.
The Black Bears will return from an extended break in the New Year on a six-game unbeaten streak, when they travel to Boston for a two-game series against Boston University on January 6th and 7th.