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September 26, 2016

Minutewomen sweep Lady Buffaloes

The Massachusetts women’s club hockey team redeemed its negative start to the season with two dominating wins over the University of Colorado this past weekend.

After two losses the previous weekend, the Minutewomen (3-4) did not waste any time taking control over the visiting Lady Buffaloes. Sophomore Caitlin Ellis was the first to strike for UMass, scoring the first goal just two minutes into the game. Captain Hayley Kuhn was credited with the assist for Ellis’ first goal of the season.

At the 6:33 mark, the Lady Buffaloes (2-5) took advantage of a two minute power- play situation and evened the score out at 1-1 with a goal from Kathryn Brewer.

With one minute left to play in the first period, junior Caitlin Scannell took a pass from Angela Rufo and gave the Minutewomen the lead going into the second period.

With the first ten minutes of the second period remaining quiet, the Lady Buffaloes came to life and challenged UMass. Ashley Abrams evened out the score at the 12:07 mark, followed five minutes later with a Siara Atkinson goal to give Colorado the 3-2 lead.

UMass answered with a game-tying goal from Scannell, her second of the game.

At the 11:06 mark of the third period, UMass regained its lead on the Buffaloes. This time it was the Minutewomen who capitalized on a power play with a goal from Samantha Mack, assisted by Kuhn. Sophomore Ashley White provided the final insurance goal two minutes later, giving UMass the 5-3 victory.

Freshman goaltender Kelsey Magrane saved 17 shots for the Minutewomen, compared to Colorado goalie Alexandra Bower, who faced 48 shots.

UMass coach Chris Cobb gave credit to his offense after making a few changes.

“Our offense definitely played great,” Cobb said. “We made a couple changes and put one of our defenders, Angela Rufo, at center”.

This change proved to be a positive one, with Rufo generating four assists for her teammates.  

Building on momentum from Friday’s game, UMass continued controlling the puck on Saturday.

Freshman Heather Paonessa scored the first goal for UMass at the 12:06 mark, when she took a pass from fellow freshman Stephanie Schlosky and slid the puck past the Buffaloes goalie. With three minutes remaining in the first period, Darah Thomas scored for the Minutewomen, giving them a 2-0 advantage.

Kuhn broke up the second period with a Rufo assisted goal in the 11th minute of play. The score would remain 3-0 until the third period, when the offensive line took off for UMass. Mack wasted no time on a power play to bring the Minutewomen total goals scored to four. Scannell was next to score two minutes later from a Catherine O’Brien pass. Thomas followed with a second goal in the final two minutes of play. Wrapping up the offensive attack was Stefani McGrath, scoring the final goal for Massachusetts in the last 10 seconds of play.

Freshman Katie Avery took charge of the net for UMass, where she recorded her first collegiate level win along with her first shutout. She saved 17 shots to give the Minutewomen the 7-0 victory.

“This was the best game of the year” Cobb said. “Everyone played good hockey. It started with the defense stepping up and breaking up the puck. Our offense generated a lot of goals”.

UMass hopes to continue its winning streak this weekend while traveling to  Burlington, Vt. to face Vermont (5-5). This will be the first time the Minutewomen will face the Catamounts, a fellow American Collegiate Hockey Association team. Unlike other ACHA teams, Vermont allows varsity level players to join the team, something that is sure to pose a new challenge for the Minutewomen.

Geena Lombardi can be reached at glombard@student.umass.edu.

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