BURLINGTON, Vt. - Amanda Pelkey had a two goals and an assist in the first period to lead the Catamounts to a 5-1 win over the Connecticut Huskies in Hockey East action at Gutterson Fieldhouse Friday afternoon.
The Catamounts struck early on the power play to take the initial lead 1:54 into the first period. In transition Pelkey fed Gina Repaci who entered the UConn zone and put a shot on net. UConn goaltender Elaine Chuli let out a large rebound that Brittany Zuback corralled and put in for her team leading eighth goal of the season.
Just a minute and a half later the Catamounts struck again. Again in transition Klara Myren fed a pass splitting the UConn defense to Pelkey who walked in alone on Chuli and roofed a backhander for second goal of the season.
Vermont stretched it's lead to three at the 14:52 mark of the first period. Zuback got off a backhand shot from in front that was stopped initially by Chuli, but Pelkey found the rebound at the left post and jammed it home for her second goal of the game.
Just 54 seconds into the second period UConn got on the board on its own power play. Sarah MacDonnell rifled a one-timer past the Vermont goaltender Roxanne Douville on a cross-ice feed from Brittany Berisoff.
Vermont regained its three-goal lead late in the second frame. Repaci walked into the slot and got a low shot on the UConn net. Chuli thought she had the rebound, but the puck was jarred loose by Emily Walsh. Meghan Huertas was able to jam the puck home amongst the crowd of players with 11 seconds left for her fifth goal of the season.
Delia McNally closed out the scoring for the Catamounts 5:31 into the third period. She scored unassisted after her point shot deflected in off a Connecticut defender in front of the net.
"I think we really needed a win like this for our confidence," said head coach Jim Plumer. "We've been taking a lot of good steps the last couple of weekends but haven't been able to get the end result that we wanted. Putting a few pucks in the net early and to finish strong is huge for us going forward."
Douville earned her second Hockey East win of the season making 22 saves for the Catamounts. In her seventh start of the year Chuli made 36 saves for the Huskies.
Vermont concludes its home schedule for 2012 on Sunday as they host the Providence Friars at 2 p.m.
Sunday's game against Providence is the tenth annual Teddy Bear Toss sponsored by the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Fans are asked to bring a teddy bear to toss onto the ice during the second intermission.
All teddy bears and stuffed animals will be donated to patients at Fletcher Allen Health Care, Starr Farm Nursing Home, and Burlington Health & Rehab by members of the Vermont women's hockey team later this winter.
NOTES: Vermont's four-goal cushion was it's largest in a Hockey East game since defeating Boston College 5-1 on November 7, 2009 ... The Catamounts picked up their first win against Connecticut since 2007 ... With her two points this afternoon Brittany Zuback now leads the team in scoring with 14 points in 13 games.