It wasn’t the win itself that most impressed University of Vermont women’s hockey coach Tim Bothwell; rather, it was the manner in which the Catamounts defeated No. 4 Clarkson, 4-1, last weekend.
The victory was a milestone for UVM in that the Catamounts had never won a game in which the opponent was ranked that highly in the national polls.
“They’re the highest ranked team, a very, very good team, so it was important for that reason,” Bothwell said this week, “but it’s important not even so much because we won but for the way we played and competed against them for two full games really.”
In other words, this wasn’t a fluke, a decision that in the past might have resulted solely because UVM’s goaltender had an outrageous game.
“I was so happy and impressed with the girls with the way we competed from the drop of the puck on Friday and generally speaking right through the whole weekend against a very good team and that’s a very, very good thing,” Bothwell said.
While goaltender Kristen Olychuck again excelled, Bothwell said the 3-1 Catamounts’ improvments are due to many players showing improvement.
“We have a whole bunch of players that are up significantly in terms of their play and contributions from last year,” he said. “You hope to see that as they go from freshmen to sophomores to juniors, but you don’t always see it. We’ve definitely seeing a big jump from six or seven players in terms of their confidence level, the way they’re competing, the way they’re executing … all kinds of things.”
Next up: Another national contender in Princeton on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m. at Gutterson Fieldhouse.