MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 5 University of Minnesota women's hockey team made it a two-goal game late in the third period but could not complete a comeback as the Golden Gophers dropped a 4-2 decision to Hockey East foe Vermont in the first-ever meeting between the two teams Friday night at Ridder Arena.
Vermont (6-13-4, 3-9-3 Hockey East) was led by Alyssa Holmes' two-goal effort, including the eventual game-winner. She added an assist for a three-point night, and Eve-Audrey Picard also recorded two points (1g-1a) for the Catamounts.
"Well, certainly, I was not happy with the result tonight," head coach Brad Frost said. "For one reason or another, we did not have that jump that I expect us to have. When they came out shooting, they got a couple there; they got the lead and never looked back. That third one hurt. When you are down two, it's a little different than when you are down three, and being down three is better than being down four and we got down four as well."
For the game, Minnesota outshot Vermont 26-11. The first period saw the teams start slow with each posting only four shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes. Vermont's Sydney Scobee made 24 saves in the win while Sidney Peters (three saves) and Alex Gulstene (four saves) split time for the Maroon & Gold.
The Catamounts led 2-0 after two periods on goals by Taylor Flaherty and Picard and then extended their lead to four on two second-period goals by Holmes. The visitors then killed off nearly a full two minutes of a 5-on-3 advantage for the Gophers and took a 4-0 lead into the locker room at the second intermission.
Minnesota scored two late goals as Schammel buried a feed from Taylor Wente at the 14:12 mark of the third period. The Gophers pulled Gulstene for an extra attacker with 2:45 remaining and Baldwin capitalized with the extra attacker, scoring her fifth of the season with 1:13 on the clock.
"I credit our kids for fighting there in the second and third and never giving up, but we dug ourselves to big of a hole," Frost said. "Four goals on 11 shots is going to hurt you quite a bit. We need to be better tomorrow as a whole group and be ready to go for 60 minutes."
The NCAA's fourth-ranked power play was 0-for-5 against Vermont while holding the Catamounts to 0-for-2 with the advantage.
Minnesota and Vermont face off in game two of this weekend's non-conference series at 4:07 p.m. CT Saturday at Ridder Arena. Minnesota’s annual Skate with the Gophers event will follow the game; capacity for the event has been reached and registration is now closed.
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