Women’s Preview: UVM @ New Hampshire

Time to take a visit next door, as UVM women’s hockey embarks on a four-game road trip (with a bye week included) starting in Durham against New Hampshire.

On paper, the Wildcats, who lost the season series to the Catamounts 2-1 last season, look dreadful with a record of 1-7. However, a deeper look shows that they’ve had the schedule from hell; only one of their eight games was against an unranked foe, and that was a 6-2 spanking of Merrimack. Think UVM men’s hockey’s start last year.

In goal, it’s really unclear who the starter is. Both Kyra Smith and Hilary Cashin (…there’s a political pun in there that I’m too lazy to make) have played four games each. Cashin has the lone win and superior numbers, so if I’m head coach Hilary Witt I roll with her in net.

Defensively, it’s the same squad as last year, just a bit deeper with the addition of two freshmen in Lexie Rivkin and Tori Howran, as well as the move of one of their existing defenders to forward (we’ll get to that in a bit). Their defense has been awfully leaky, allowing two or more goals in every match so far, but again, that schedule may play a role.

Up top, the Wildcats are fairly young after losing five forwards to graduation. One of the more interesting stories is that of Kate Haslett. Last season she posted 9 points as a defender, but this season has seen her moved to forward to help fill in the depth. Redshirt senior Jonna Curtis is the star of the show, and she picked up where she left off last season (where she posted 33 points), posting 8 points for UNH so far. Freshman Carlee Turner has also gotten off to a great start, posting five points including a three point game in the Merrimack shellacking. That being said, the Merrimack game is the only time this season that New Hampshire has posted multiple goals. Again, though, that schedule could be an alibi…or a sign of bigger problems.

We’ll have previews of the Northeastern (men’s) and Maine (women’s) games on Sunday sometime Saturday.

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