By MARK GARBINO
The Wildcats are still looking for their first win of the season as losses at Merrimack College and Boston College this weekend dropped their overall record to 0-5.
Head coach Hilary Witt is proud of the team’s work ethic thus far, despite the lack of results.
“Right now, the important thing is that we continue to get better so that we can win consistently,” she said. “It will come, because the team is working so hard.”
Saturday evening, junior forward Jonna Curtis scored as the Wildcats fell short at Lawler Rink, losing 2-1 to Merrimack.
Trailing 2-0 midway through the third period, defenseman Amy Schlagel threaded a pass through traffic to a wide-open Curtis low in the right faceoff circle. Curtis corralled the pass and fired an off-balanced shot past the goalie as she fell to the ice.
The Wildcats controlled play for the majority of the game, but failed to convert on their scoring chances. Merrimack took advantage of the Wildcats’ mistakes and buried two goals on just 12 shots against goaltender Ashley Wilkes.
The first Merrimack goal came on a breakaway late in the first period. Merrimack’s forward, Paige Voight, used her speed to split the defense and lift a shot over Wilkes’ blocker. The second came early in the third period with UNH on the power play. A Merrimack forward threw a backhand shot on goal that beat Wilkes just inside the far post for a shorthanded goal and the eventual game-winner.
Final shots in the game were 35-12 in favor of UNH, and Witt expects her team to win games when outshooting opponents by such a wide margin.
“I think we’re working really hard, and we’re putting ourselves in positions to win games, but we have to find ways to put pucks in the net,” she said.
On Sunday afternoon, the Wildcats headed to Boston College to take on the undefeated Eagles. BC entered the game as the No. 2-ranked team in the USCHO.com Division I Women’s Poll.
The high-powered Eagles offense had its way with the Wildcats, skating to a 6-0 rout.
The Wildcats had their chances to score, including five power plays, but the BC goalie stopped all 26 shots thrown her way.
BC tallied two goals in every period, and forced a goalie change in the third. Senior netminder Vilma Vaattovaara played the first 40 minutes of the game, making 19 saves on 23 shots. She was replaced by freshman Hilary Cashin for the final period, and the rookie made five saves on seven shots.
Following the game, Witt was pleased with her team’s game despite the lopsided score.
“On any day, any team can beat any other team,” she said. “We respect the fact that they’re one of the top teams in the country, and I feel like today, for the most part, we played them pretty even.”
The Wildcats are back in action on Friday when they head to Clarkson University for two games against the Golden Knights.
Witt’s Wildcats winless through 5
By MARK GARBINO