MINNEAPOLIS -- In anticipation of the upcoming season, GopherSports.com takes a closer look at each of the Gopher women's hockey team's 2017-18 opponents. Up this week is Vermont.
About the Series: Minnesota vs. Vermont
This season's series marks the first-ever match-up between Minnesota and Vermont in women's hockey.
Scouting the Catamounts
Vermont posted an overall record of 15-14-9 during the 2016-17 season. The Catamounts advanced to the Hockey East semifinal round but saw their season come to an end with a double-overtime loss to eventual Frozen Four semifinalist Boston College.
Ève-Audrey Picard led the team with 31 points (16g-16a) last season while goaltenders Madison Litchfield and Melissa Black split time in net. Litchfield played in 24 games, posting a .928 save percentage and 2.08 goals against average while Black played in 14 games with a .913 save percentage and 2.68 goals against average.
Seven seniors graduated following the 2016-17 season, but the team has announced the addition of eight newcomers in Valerie Caldwell (Glenview, Ill.), Greta Close (Norwich, Vt.), Anna Erickson (Stillwater, Minn.), Taylor Flaherty (Lakeville, Minn.), Alyssa Holmes (Burlington, Ontario), Olivia Kilberg (Edina, Minn.), Sierra Natzke (Pine, Colo.), and Kristina Shanahan (Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec).
Underclassmen made up Vermont's top three scorers last season. Picard was the top scorer as a freshman while sophomores Alyssa Gorecki and Saana Valkama, posted 25 points and 24 points, respectively.
Last season, the Gophers and Catamounts faced three common opponents in Boston University, St. Cloud State, and Clarkson. Vermont went 2-1-2 in five games against these foes with a win over SCSU, a loss to Clarkson, and a 1-0-2 record against BU. Meanwhile, the Gophers posted a record of 5-2-0, splitting a series with BU, falling to Clarkson in the lone meeting, and recording four wins over the Huskies.
Vermont travels to Minneapolis for a series at Ridder Arena in 2018. Games times for the non-conference meetings are set for 6 p.m. CT on Friday, Jan. 12 and 4 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 13.
Alumni Set for Championship Games
3/21/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
Four Golden Gopher women's hockey alums will play for the NWHL's Isobel Cup and the CWHL's Clarkson Cup this Sunday.
Alumni Spotlight: Rachael Bona
3/21/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
In celebration of 20 years of Gopher women's hockey, catch up with alumna Rachael Bona.
NWHL Names Leveille Top Goaltender
3/20/2018 - W. Ice Hockey
Amanda Leveille has been named the Goaltender of the Year for the 2017-18 NWHL season.