Women’s Hockey: Vermont Drops Series Opener at BC

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BOSTON, MA. – Despite a 35-27 advantage in shots, the Vermont Catamounts dropped a 3-1 contest to open the Hockey East Quarterfinal series with the third-ranked Eagles of Boston College.

Vermont moves to 10-19-5 overall and will need to win the next two games over the Eagles to advance to the next round of the Hockey East Tournament. Boston College improves to 29-3-3 overall and needs one win to advance to next weekend’s championship rounds.

“We played an excellent game today in all facets and it’s unfortunate that the score didn’t reflect that,” head coach Jim Plumer said. “We once again demonstrated that we can play with anyone in the country and we will be ready tomorrow.”

Both teams had chances with Sydney Scobee and Katie Burt both making strong saves in a back-and-forth opening ten minutes of the first period. An interference penalty called against Kourtney Menches 6:24 into the period gave BC the lone power play of the first 20 minutes.

Vermont’s best chance of the period came during a scrum in front of the BC cage with eight minutes left on the clock. Alyssa Holmes whacked at the puck in front of the net, but was unable to sneak one past Burt.

Daryl Watts, the NCAA’s leading scorer, put the Eagles on the board with 4:35 remaining in the opening period. She received a pass from Caitrin Lonergan by the faceoff circle to Scobee’e right and fired a shot under the sophomore’s pads to break the deadlock.

Shots ended at 8-8 through the first period with Burt stopping all eight shots faced and Scobee making seven saves for the Catamounts. BC was unsuccessful in the lone power play of the period.

Vermont controlled the first half of the middle frame, outshooting the Eagles 9-5. However, Burt kept the Catamounts off the board, turning away several quality scoring chances for UVM.

The Catamounts could not capitalize on their first power play chance after Grace Bizal was called for interference less than a minute into the period. Burt turned away three heavy-traffic shots from Taylor Willard during the UVM advantage.

Olivia Kilberg brought the puck down the right side into the Eagle zone in Vermont’s best chance of the second. Burt turned away Kilberg’s initial shot and the second effort from Menches in the slot.

Junior Makenna Newkirk doubled the BC lead with 6:59 to play in the second period. Her shot from the top of the slot made its way through traffic and under Scobee for an unassisted goal.

Despite a 17-9 shot advantage in the second period and a 25-17 advantage through two periods, the Catamounts entered the second intermission trailing the third-ranked Eagles 2-0.

Just over halfway through the third, Alyssa Gorecki cut the BC lead to one. Ève-Audrey Picard won the offensive zone faceoff and Valkama ripped a shot that was blocked. Picard tipped the puck away from a BC defender and Gorecki picked up the loose puck and ripped a shot over Burt’s glove for the goal.

On its second power play chance in a five-minute span, the Eagles once again grabbed a two goal lead as Lonergan jammed the puck through Scobee. Picard’s clear attempt hit an official and remained deep in the Catamount zone. Lonergan got the puck on the right post and managed to force the puck by Scobee after several whacks at the puck.

The Catamounts called their timeout with 2:03 left and took the ensuing offensive zone faceoff with Scobee pulled and the extra attacker on the ice.

Neither team found the back of the net again as Boston College held on to a 3-1 victory over Vermont in game one of the Hockey East quarterfinal series.

Scobee finished the game with 24 saves while Burt stopped 34 shots for the Eagles. Each receiving three power play chances, BC found the pack of the net once on the advantage while Vermont went 0-for-3.

The Catamounts and Eagles will take the ice tomorrow afternoon for game two of the series at Conte Forum. The puck is scheduled to drop at 2 p.m.