Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
ROCHESTER, N.Y. –– The Vermont Catamounts (1-0-0, 0-0-0 HEAW) rallied for a two-goal third period to clinch a 3-1 victory over the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers (0-1-0, 0-0-0 CHA) in the 2019-20 regular season opener Friday night at Gene Polisseni Center.
“It was a great way to start the season with a win,” said head coach Jim Plumer. “I really felt that we got better throughout the game and that’s a great sign for our team. We got contributions up and down the lineup and it was gratifying to see Blanka Škodová with an excellent game and Ève-Audrey Picard getting on the scoresheet as she returned to the lineup.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Facing off for the first time since 2017, Vermont and RIT skated to a scoreless first period. The Catamounts held a 10-7 shot advantage through the opening 20 minutes.
The Tigers struck first with 6:15 left in the second period as Emily Stemple cleaned up a rebound to beat Blanka Škodová (16 saves) for her first career goal. Taylor Baker fired the initial shot from the point to earn the assist.
Vermont quickly answered 49 seconds later on the power play as Val Caldwell buried the rebound in front of Terra Lanteigne (34 saves) for the sixth goal of her career. Corinne McCool and Sini Karjalainen were credited with the assists.
McCool and the Vermont offense came out firing in the third period as the sophomore forward netted her fourth career goal on a nice feed by Ali O’Leary. Theresa Schafzahl had the secondary assist on the game-winning marker.
Senior captain Ève-Audrey Picard added the insurance goal with 12:46 left in the game. Sara Levesque and Alex Gray recorded their first career points with assists on Picard’s tally.
Vermont begins the regular season with a win for the first time since the 2016-17 campaign.
With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate $100 to Make-A-Wish Vermont; bringing this year’s total to 66 wins and $6,600.
The Vermont Catamounts return to action on Saturday (Oct. 5) as they look to close out the two-game series with the RIT Tigers. Puck drop is slated for 2 p.m. at Gene Polisseni Center.