Sarah Smiddy leads Catamounts with goal, two assists

Sarah Smiddy had a goal and two assists for the Catamounts.

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Brittany Nelson (Shelburne, Vt.) scored twice and Sarah Smiddy (Grand Rapids, Mich.) added a goal and two assists to lead Vermont to an 8-2 win over Sacred Heart in women's college hockey Sunday evening at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The win is the second straight for the Catamounts over the Pioneers as UVM opens its season at 2-0 for the first time in its seventh year in Division I.

The Catamounts scored seven unanswered goals over the last two periods to break open a tight contest. UVM's eight goals are the most since October 29, 2004, an 8-0 win also over Sacred Heart.

"This was a real good win for us as is the 2-0 start," said Vermont coach Tim Bothwell. "We overcame a little penalty trouble in the first period where we were a little flat but give Sacred Heart credit for putting us in that position. The third period was the best we played all weekend and it was real nice to see everyone on the team make a contribution."

In the midst of a penalty filled first period where UVM killed five straight Sacred heart power play opportunities, Melanie Greene (Queensbury, N.Y.) opened the scoring for the Catamounts finishing a feed from Smiddy.

Just 1:46 into the second period, the Pioneers would even the score on a power play goal by Brittany Hartman. But Vermont quickly regained the lead 36 seconds later as Celeste Doucet (Memramcook, N.B.) set up Jul Sifers (New London, Conn.) to make 2-1. The Catamounts added goals by Peggy Wakeham (Bay Roberts, Newfoundland), Caroline Donahue (Westwood, Mass.) and Nelson to take a 5-1 lead into the second intermission.

Vermont broke it wide open in the middle of the third scoring three times in 54 seconds including goals by Molly Morrison (So. Burlington, Vt.) and Smiddy just six seconds apart. Nelson also added her second goal of the contest in this stretch. Lauren Fontaine closed out the scoring for the Pioneers (0-3-0) with 1:26 to play.

Several Catamounts in addition to Nelson and Smiddy had multi-point games. Teddy Fortin (Brunswick, Maine) finished with two assists while Sifers and Morrison each had a goal and an assist. The goals for Sifers, Morrison and Wakeham were the first of their careers while fellow freshmen Hannah Westbrook (Laramie, Wyoming) and Sarah Ellins (Greeley, Colorado) both notched their first assists.

The Catamounts out shot the Pioneers, 37-17, over the game with whopping 32-4 advantage over the last two periods. Vermont had a 2-for-6 effort on the power play and killed nine of 10 Sacred Heart chances. UVM also had a shorthanded goal, by Nelson in the second period, for the second straight game after not having one in all 32 contests last season.

Kristen Olychuck (Kelowna, B.C.) made 15 saves, 13, in the first stanza, to record her second straight victory for the Catamounts. In the other crease, Sacred Heartís Jessica Little finished with 29 stops.

Vermont continues its season-opening four-game homestand hosting Union Friday at 7:00pm and Saturday at 4:00pm at Gutterson Fieldhouse. For ticket information, please contact the UVM Athletic Ticket Office at 1-866-4CAT-TIX or log on to UVM students (with a valid ID) and all Rally's Round Up members are admitted free to all home women's hockey games.