January 29, 2012

Minton Records 30 Saves In Women's Ice Hockey Team's 2-1 Loss at Vermont

BURLINGTON, Vt.Lindsey Minton (Richardson, Texas) recorded 30 saves but the University of Vermont broke a 1-1 tie midway through the third period and fended off the University of New Hampshire to record a 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon in women's ice hockey action at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

UNH, which prevailed 4-2 on home ice against Vermont on Saturday, lost its ninth consecutive road game to fall to 10-15-3 overall and 4-9-2 in Hockey East. UVM ended a six-game losing streak to improve to 4-16-6, 3-10-2. 

Minton made 14 of her 30 saves in the second period. UVM counterpart Roxanne Douville stopped 19 shots, including eight in the opening stanza.

Vermont controlled play in the opening 10 minutes of the game to generate a 6-1 shot advantage. In the second minute – off a UNH turnover – Kellie Dineen fired a shot from the right faceoff dot that caromed off the far post. In the fifth minute, with the Catamounts on the power play, Brittany Zuback emerged among five players in a battle for the puck behind the net but was stoned by Minton at the right post. At the midpoint of the opening stanza, Erin Wente skated onto a loose puck in the slot and her shot towards the right post was blocked aside by defenseman Kailey Chappell (Pickering, Ontario). 

In the 14th minute, UNH generated a quick transition attack in which Kristine Horn (Utica, Mich.) advanced the puck to Paige Goloubef (Oakville, Ontario), who quickly made a touch pass ahead to Caroline Broderick (Marblehead, Mass.). Broderick's shot from the right circle caught Douville off balance, but the goalie stopped the shot and a defender cleared the puck from the crease as Douville fell backward.

The Wildcats went on a power play at 16:51 and moments later Nicole Gifford (Ennismore, Ontario) lifted a shot at the left doorstep that ricocheted off the near post. 

UNH, which potted two goals in the closing minute of the first period Saturday, struck with 48 seconds remaining in the first period to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Chappell initiated the scoring sequence with a pass to Jenna Lascelle (Cornwall, Ontario), who left the puck for Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario), who in turn dropped a pass to Gifford and she shoveled the puck in the net from the slot.

In the opening minute of the second stanza, Klara Myren charged through the left circle but was denied by Minton. Myren collected the rebound and she was again thwarted by Minton, who extended to make a glove save. 

Five minutes into the period – just seconds after the expiration of a UNH power play – Emma Clark (East Barre, Vt.) slipped a centering pass and Kayla Mork (Victoria, Minn.), cutting down the slot, redirected a shot towards the cage that was enveloped by Douville.

One minute later at the other end of the ice, Erin Wente led a 3-on-1 rush. Her initial shot was blocked, but the puck went directly back to her stick and her second attempt was kicked aside by Minton's extended right leg pad.

UVM tied the score, 1-1, at 13:09 when Dineen corralled a loose puck in the neutral zone, entered the offensive zone at the left point and from the circle lifted a shot under the crossbar.

The Wildcats pressured in the closing minute of the second period. With Mork and Heather Kashman (Edmonton, Alberta) positioned in the slot, Horn sent the puck towards the net from the left point. Kashman stopped the puck and quickly backhanded a shot that Douville turned aside.

Vermont entered its attacking zone, but Gifford blocked a shot, shifted around the Catamount skater and gained possession to generate a breakaway opportunity. She skated down the left wing and, as she was hooked, shifted to the slot where a wrist shot was knocked down by Douville. 

UNH went on its third power play with 16 seconds remaining in the second period, then opened the final frame with 1:44 left on the skater advantage. The Wildcats maintained possession in the offensive zone, but the Catamounts effectively kept the visitors on the perimeter and yielded just one shot on Douville.

UVM took a 2-1 lead at 9:43 of the third period. Minton stopped Greer Vogl's initial shot from the right post, but Wente collected the rebound at the left doorstep and deposited a shot into the cage. 

The Wildcats had a fourth power-play opportunity at 11:13 but it ended prematurely when a UNH skater was sent to the penalty box at 12:17.

Minton was pulled in favor of an extra skater with 70 seconds remaining and entered the offensive zone with one minute on the clock. UVM quickly chipped the puck into the neutral zone and shot wide of the empty net. UNH reentered the zone with 30 seconds to play but was unable to get a shot on goal before the home team cleared the puck with 12 seconds on the clock. Horn attempted one last rush through the neutral zone, but she was slowed by the Catamounts and could not get a shot before time expired. 

UNH went 0-for-4 on the power play and was perfect at 5 of 5 on the penalty kill.

New Hampshire returns to action Feb. 4 at home against Boston University. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 2 p.m.

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