Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON — Theresa Schafzahl tallied two goals for the second time this weekend as Vermont (10-14-7, 8-12-5 HEAW) defeated UConn (15-13-2, 12-9-2 HEAW) 6-2 on Sunday afternoon at Gutterson Fieldhouse. UVM clinched the final playoff spot in the Hockey East Tournament.
“It was a great team effort today,” said head coach Jim Plumer. “I’m proud of the way the team responded from yesterday as we were better in all aspects of the game. A special congrats goes to Maude Poulin-Labelle for breaking the record for most points in a season by a defenseman and to Blanka Škodová (24 saves) for a great performance in net.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Alyssa Holmes lit the lamp early for the Catamounts with her second goal of the season. The junior struck 3:07 into the game with a quick snap shot that beat Morgan Fisher (35 saves). Anna Erickson and Poulin-Labelle were credited with assists on the opening goal.
UConn answered 56 seconds later with a goal from Coryn Tormala on a 2-on-1 rush. Danielle Fox dished the puck to Tormala who lifted a shot over the glove of Škodová.
The Catamounts took back the lead with 2:32 left in the opening period. Ève-Audrey Picard won a faceoff to the right of Fisher and Corinne McCool scooped up the puck before firing a shot that left a rebound for Val Caldwell. The junior batted a shot past Fisher for her ninth goal of the season.
Vermont padded the lead 1:10 into the second period on Schafzahl’s tally goal of the game. The sophomore cleaned up a rebound from a shot by Sara Levesque.
Kristina Shanahan put the Cats up three when she notched her 12th marker of the 2019-20 campaign with 15:00 left in the middle frame. Sini Karjalainen fired a shot from the blueline that was deflected by Ali O’Leary and kicked out to Shanahan for the tap-in goal.
Briana Colangelo cut the lead for the Huskies with 2:43 left in the second period. The senior capitalized on a rebound for her seventh tally of the season. Natalie Snodgrass and Catherine Crawley earned assists on the second UConn goal of the contest.
The Catamounts held off a late push by the Huskies in the third period as Škodová made 12 stops. Vermont scored twice in the final minute, beginning with an empty-netter from Schafzahl. McCool netted a goal with eight seconds left in regulation. Both scorers registered their team-leading 13th goals of the season..
Poulin-Labelle’s assist on the opening goal was her 28th point of the season, which passed the 27-point output by Dayna Colang ’16 in the 2013-14 season. The sophomore needs one goal to match the single-season record for most goals by a Catamount defenseman, which is also set by Colang.
With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate $100 to a Vermont charity, bringing the 2020 total to 24 wins totaling $2,400. A special thank you to Vermont Mutual Insurance for their support, protecting Vermonters since 1828.
Vermont visits Holy Cross for a pair of games next weekend in Worcester, Massachusetts. The series begins with a 1 p.m. puck drop on Saturday (Feb. 15) at the Hart Center. The Catamounts and the Crusaders then play on Sunday (Feb. 16) at 12 p.m. Sunday’s game will be televised on NESN.