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Black Bears Blank Catamounts

The University of Maine Black Bears women’s hockey team (11-6-3, 5-3-2) was back in action on Saturday, Dec. 1, taking down the University of Vermont Catamounts (5-11-3, 3-7-2) 2-0 from Alfond Arena.

Second-year goaltender Carly Jackson got the start between the pipes for the Black Bears. Jackson came into the game with an 8-5-2 record, including a shutout allowing 32 goals on the season. For the Catamounts, second-year goaltender Sydnee Scobee got the start. Scobee came in with a 4-6-1 record in 11 starts, allowing 29 goals on the season and pitching a shutout.

Defense was the key for the Black Bears in the game, as they held Vermont to 29 shots in total, with 12 blocks. Jackson recorded 17 saves in the shutout.

Offensively, Maine kept the heat on Scobee, launching off 32 shots on the day, with Scobee stopping 30 while allowing the two goals. The Black Bears controlled the puck in the Vermont zone for the majority of the game.

The scoring started in the first period. Second-year forward Tereza Vanisova fired a shot off on goal, but Scobee was there to make the initial save. Vanisova followed the rebound and was able to poke it in, putting the Black Bears up 1-0 with 6:49 to go in the period. Fourth-year forward Brooke Stacey and second-year forward Jessica Jacques were both credited with assists on the play.

A scuffle in the crease gave the Black Bears the perfect opportunity to put the nail in the coffin. First-year defender Anna Zikova put enough behind her shot to get the puck in the back of the net past a sprawling Scobee, who stuck the blocker out to get a piece of it to knock it away. The effort was all in vain. Stacey and Vanisova were both credited with assists on Zikova’s second goal of the season.

Scoring was different to come by in the final 20 minutes of play, with the Catamounts holding an edge in shots on goal eight to six. Vermont had ample opportunities in the third period. Maine went on the penalty kill in two separate instances, but was able to thwart the Catamounts both times. Vermont would pull the goaltender for a minute with an extra attacker, but the Black Bear defense held down the fort.

The Black Bears will look to keep their streak going as the two teams square off on Sunday from Alfond Arena. Puck drop is at 2 p.m.

Black Bears skate to tie with Vermont

The Black Bears looked to complete a weekend sweep of the University of Vermont on Sunday, Dec. 3 from Alfond Arena. Unfortunately, neither team was able to pull and the game ended in a 2-2 tie.

Both teams ran out similar lineups, with the second lines and the first defensive pairings getting the starts. The goaltender matchup stayed the same, as Jackson and Scobee were both between the pipes for round two.

The Catamounts struck first in the first period. Off the faceoff, first-year forward Olivia Kilberg found linemate and fourth-year forward Kourtney Menches, who put a one timer past Jackson to put the Catamounts up 1-0 with 7:42 to go in the period. That was goal number two on the season for Menches.

Maine would answer back two minutes later. Vanisova would rip a shot past Scobee following a blocked shot to tie the game at 1-1 with 5:16 left in the first.

Maine played a complete first period, limiting Vermont’s offense to just seven total shots while accumulating 29 of their own, including 19 on target. Scobee played out of her mind in the period, making 18 saves.

Vermont had a golden opportunity to take the lead after fourth-year defender Mikayla Rodgers was sent to the penalty box for an interference call with 15:34 in the period, but could not capitalize.

Maine would go on the power play after an interference penalty on third-year defender Daria O’Neill with 11:52 in the period. The opportunity was squandered when first-year forward Michelle Weis was sent to the box for tripping. Once the O’Neill penalty was over, Vermont was on the power play. The one-skater advantage increased to two, when first-year forward Daria Tereshkina got called for checking. The defense held strong, and Jackson made the save she needed to in order to keep Vermont off the board.

“Our team defense has been much better than the year before. We’re making sure to be more physical and do whatever is necessary to get the puck back,” Maine Head Coach Rick Reichenbach said.

The offense leveled out, with the Catamounts leading in shots on goal nine to six. Jackson was more than up to the task as she stopped all nine.

Vermont would strike again with 9:24 to go in the third period. Fourth-year defender Taylor Willard took a pass from first-year forward Val Caldwell and sent a laser toward Jackson. The shot took a weird bounce off fourth-year forward Mackenzie MacNeil and went through the legs of Jackson.

Maine would keep the pressure up, continuing to pepper Scobee, knowing that something would give again. Something would, as Stacey took a pass in front of the net from Vanisova and flicked it in to tie the game at 2-2 with 4:11 to go in the period.

“Vermont is really tough to play against. We responded well with that and stuck together, just played our game,” Jackson said.

The game would head to overtime, and the Black Bears’ best chance at putting the game away came on a fast break. With a swarm of Catamounts closing, Vanisova took a pass in the slot and rocketed it on goal. Scobee made a brilliant save and a light scrum ensued to try to poke it in. Neither team could score in the final minute.

Jackson finished with 15 saves on the afternoon, while Scobee finished with 37.

These two teams will meet up for a Saturday matinee on Dec. 9 at Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vt. Puck drop is set for 2 p.m.

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