Women’s hockey defeats reigning national champs


Pat Langlois

Junior forward Saana Valkama takes a shot on goal against the University of New Hampshire Oct. 20. The Catamounts are currently 5-7-1 after a win and loss to Clarkson University.

Locria Courtright, Assistant Sports Editor

After 60 minutes of gameplay, UVM poured onto the ice to mob sophomore goaltender Sydney Scobee and celebrate the victory.

Women’s hockey hosted No. 3 Clarkson University Golden Knights, the reigning national champions, Friday afternoon.

The Catamounts defeated the Golden Knights by a score of 3-2 in a back-and-forth affair.

The victory was just Vermont’s second in 22 tries against Clarkson, according to UVM athletics. The Golden Knights are also the highest-ranked team UVM has ever defeated.

Vermont opened the scoring midway through the first period. Sophomore forward Ali O’Leary sent a pass for junior forward Alyssa Gorecki in the slot, and Gorecki fired a shot past Clarkson goaltender Shea Tiley.

Clarkson would level the score midway through the second period on the power play.

With first-year forward Alyssa Holmes in the penalty box for an interference penalty, Clarkson’s Savannah Harmon found Élizabeth Giguère down low. Giguère sent the puck across to Michaela Pejzlová, who tapped the puck past Scobee.

The visitors would go ahead with another power play goal 3.5 minutes later off a broken play.

Giguère’s cross-ice pass deflected off the stick of sophomore forward Éve-Audrey Picard and fell to Clarkson’s Rhyen McGill. Scobee saved McGill’s shot, but Pejzlová buried the rebound to put the Golden Knights up 2-1.

Vermont responded with a tying goal four minutes later. Once again, Gorecki did the damage. Senior defender Taylor Willard found her with a pass up the right wing, and Gorecki fired the puck past Tiley once more.

With 1:15 to go, Clarkson’s Emma Keenan went to the penalty box for holding, putting the Catamounts on their sixth power play of the game.

It would be their first successful one.

Picard won a faceoff and junior forward Saana Valkama sent the puck back to junior defender Taylor Flaherty at the point. Flaherty sent the puck across the ice to Willard, the UVM captain, who wired the puck past a frozen Tiley to put Vermont up 3-2.

All the Catamounts had to do was hold on for another 1:08, which they did, cementing a massive win for the program.

Scobee ended the game with 35 saves.

The win took the team’s record to 5-7-1 overall.