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.
Olympic Hopefuls Update: Dec. 13
12/13/2017 - W. Ice Hockey
Ten current and former Gopher women's hockey players are in contention to represent their countries at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Zumwinkle Earns WCHA Weekly Award
12/12/2017 - W. Ice Hockey
Grace Zumwinkle has been named this week's WCHA Rookie of the Week for her play against Minnesota Duluth last week.
Duo Named to Canada's Nations Cup Team
12/12/2017 - W. Ice Hockey
Lindsay Agnew and Amy Potomak have been selected to compete for Canada’s National Women’s Development Team at the 2018 Nations Cup.