Women’s hockey is making history

The women’s hockey team has been off to a strong start this season.  After a preseason loss to McGill, the Catamounts defeated Union in both of the weekend’s games.  After Union, the  Catamounts went up against fourth-ranked Clarkson,   who shutout the Catamounts 4-0.  The next game would prove to be much different.  After a three-goal run in the second period, the Catamounts were able to defeat Clarkson and make Vermont history.  Clarkson is the highest ranked team that the Catamounts have defeated, and this was the first time Vermont had ever beaten Clarkson.But making history didn’t stop there. The following weekend, the Catamounts took on the Princeton Tigers.  After scoring three goals in the second period, UVM was able to come out on top.  This was the first time in Vermont’s history that they beat the Princeton Tigers.  “They were big wins for our program,” junior and assistant captain Peggy Wakeham said. “After we beat Clarkson, to come back the next weekend and have another big win against Princeton really helped our confidence, which should help us continue through the year,” she said. The freshmen are beginning to make a name for themselves on the team as well.Freshman Emily Walsh notched her first collegiate goal, against Clarkson while freshman Maggie Walsh got her first goal against Princeton.”I think the freshmen are all very impressive players,” senior captain Brittany Nelson said. “They’re all fast and I think they fit in really well with the way we play.”Sophomore Kailey Nash, who was named Pure Hockey Player of the Week back in October, has been on a hot streak as well this year.  She has notched six goals, making her the team’s highest scorer thus far.  Nelson isn’t far behind, with three goals. Goaltender Kristen Olychuck has also been playing consistently at a high level, according to Wakeham.”Oly [Olychuck] plays big for us every night.  We just want to be there for her,” Wakeham said.The team has also had some setbacks this year, in the form of two injuries.”The biggest one would be Channing Ahbe,” head coach Tim Bothwell said. “She had a real bad fall early in September, away from the rink.  She is back skating now and getting close to being available to play.” “Another is  Caitlin Whitlock,” Bothwell said. “She injured her back sometime last spring and is still having a lot of problems and issues with it. She is still not cleared to play.”The team is looking forward to the upcoming games and has high hopes for this season.”We definitely want to make the playoffs.  It’s on everybody’s mind, because we’ve never done it here [UVM],” Bothwell said. “But there is lots of hockey left.”