Women’s hockey hopeful for late-season run

The UVM women’s hockey team dropped a pair of games at home to #9 Connecticut Jan. 11 and 12 and a pair to #10 St. Cloud State Jan. 18 and 19 by combined scores of 1-11 and 2-9. However, head coach Tim Bothwell saw these games as an aberration for what has been a consistent, improving team overall this season,”We have been competitive in just about every game we have played this year,” Bothwell said. “The biggest thing last weekend was [that] our play was a bit erratic, and that’s not us.”The Catamounts were out shot 34-63 by the UConn Huskies and 20-78 by St. Cloud, abnormal statistics for a team that has made great progress since last year.”This year, we are spending less time in our own zone,” Bothwell said. “We’re moving the puck out more consistently and are more organized and cohesive.”The Cats had some tough losses during a particularly daunting stretch, having played five of the top 10 nationally ranked teams.”The team is staying positive,” sophomore goalie Kristen Olychuck said. “We are just hoping our hard work will pay off.””The attitude has been very good all year,” Bothwell said, echoing Olychuck’s words. “Our effort has been great almost every weekend.””If we keep it up, we know we’re going to win some games down the stretch,” he said.As far as improvements Bothwell would like to see from his team in the second half of the season, he hopes to create more offense, get the opportunity for more shots on goal and keep the power-play moving ahead to provide better shots.The Cats look to rebound over the weekend against Providence, a match-up that can lead to a strong late-season finish.”We have an outside shot at making the Hockey East Tournament.” he said. “If not, we have the ability to disrupt a lot of other playoff teams down the stretch.”