Colonials bounce Vermont in first game of series

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Amy Shubilla

The RMU women’s hockey team started off on the right foot in their two-game home stand against Vermont.  With a final score of 4-3, the team proved they could get ahead early, but still wrap things up with the opposing team breathing down their necks.

The team came out strong in the first few minutes of play.  However, the penalty-killing unit had their first workout of the night when Katie Fergus was sent to the box on a hooking penalty at 5:41.  Multiple girls took to the ice to repetitively clear the puck and eventually kill off the first of four penalties.

“We know how to just box them out and make sure our sticks are in lane.  We just don’t give them opportunities to get a shot on net,” stated Rebecca Vint, who spent some time on the PK that night.

At 8:24, it was Vermont’s turn to spend some time on the penalty kill.  A few seconds into the Colonial power play (9:08), the puck went from Kristen Richards to a nearly falling down Brittany Howard, then finally reached Thea Imbrogno who sent it past Vermont goaltender Madison Litchfield.

About two minutes later at 10:50, Maeve Garvey had her first point of the night with assists from Kylie St. Louis and Howard, who also had her second assist of the night.

“I was just driving the net,” said Garvey of the goal.  “It was a great shot on net and I just went for the rebound and it just happened to hit my stick on the way in.”

The Colonials tested their PK abilities for the second time at 14:21, when Howard received a penalty for slashing.  The units worked effectively once again, but the team allowed a Vermont goal after regaining full strength minutes later at the end of the first (19:24).

Garvey continued to put numbers on the boards in the second period, scoring her second goal of the game.  With Anneline Lauzier on the helper, the forward took a shot from the point and easily slid the puck past Litchfield (0:25).

Vint rounded out the scoring for the Colonials in the second period.  After assists from Imbrogno and Mikaela Lowater, Vint found herself on a two-on-one opportunity and managed to find the back of the net at 3:02.

Two more penalties would be handed to the Colonials within the remainder of the game.  On one of the kills, Vermont pulled Litchfield for a two man advantage.

“They just put on a ton of pressure, had the extra attacker and they just came out flying,” claimed Garvey.  “But Dodds stayed composed in the net, did what we needed her to do for us and everyone else stuck to their position and we were able to keep it out of the net.”

Vermont turned up the heat from then on out.  The only scoring to be seen for the rest of the game was from Vermont’s Amanda Pelkey, who had a goal 10:32 into the second and 13:33 into the third.  The Colonials kept their cool and managed to hold them to a one point deficit.

“When the pressure is on, teams tend to push a little bit more and the key to a good team is bending and not breaking and we did that.  Good teams find a way to win,” said assistant coach Logan Bittle of the game’s ending play.  “[Doddsy] made some big saves at the end, our girls had some good clears, some good blocked shots, and we’ll get better tomorrow.” 

The Colonials face off once again at the 84 Lumber Arena Saturday evening to close out play against Vermont.  Puck drops at 2 PM.