After scoring only one goal in its first two games, the Missisquoi girls hockey team knew is needed to find a way to put more pucks into the back of the net.
The Thunderbirds did just that on Saturday when they had five different players score on their way to a 6-1 victory.
“This was a nice change of pace with a lot of different goal scorers out there today,” said Missisquoi coach Brian Fortin. “Four of our six goals had two assists, so our puck movement was better today and a lot of selfless plays with a lot of people making good passes rather than just taking the shot. Today was a complete 180 from what we were seeing from the first two games of the season.”
The Thunderbirds wasted no time to start scoring, as their first tally came less than two minutes into the game. On the powerplay, Lora Fresn took a shot from the point that was saved by Stowe goalie Iris Cloutiere, but Brianna Parent was on the doorstep for the rebound to make it a 1-0 game.
Parent’s goal was scored during a delayed penalty, so the Thunderbirds went right back on the powerplay. This time Abby Bessette got the puck in the offensive zone and slipped a pass over to Karissa LeClair. LeClair flipped a pass to a streaking Bri Jarvis in the slot, who redirected the pass into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.
“In the first couple of games, I think we were trying to be too fancy on our powerplay,” said Fortin. “I think the girls simplified things and made the easy passes and it showed getting two right out of the gate. We told them we wanted to get a lead early, so we could get everyone ice time today and we were able to do that with the quick start.”
The Thunderbirds weren’t done in the first period, as Naomi Edele kept the puck in the zone late in the period and Lindsey Gagne threw the puck toward the net. On its way to the net, Emily Airoldi tipped it out of the air and into the net for the 3-0 lead.
Jarvis showed off her speed early in the second, as she picked up a loose puck in the left circle and skated around the net untouched and around to the slot and fired a wristshot into the net to extend it to a 4-0 lead. Parent and Madison Guyette (first career assist) were credited with the assists.
Stowe got a goal back to make it a 4-1 game, but the Thunderbirds responded quickly when Rory Schreindofer took a shot that was stopped, but Fresn was there to slap the rebound home.
Later in the period, Parent got the puck back to Haley Stefaniak, who sent a shot in on the Stowe goalie and Madilyn Aronson was there for the rebound for her first career goal.
“That was awesome to see her get her first goal,” said Fortin. “She has played four years and nice to see all her hard work come full circle.”
Madison Conley made 16 saves for the Thunderbirds, who had 48 shots of their own in the game.
With the win, the Thunderbirds improved to 1-2 and will look to keep on their winning ways when they travel to Hartford on Wednesday.
“We had more confidence with the puck today,” said Fortin. “The girls took their time and used it to their advantage. It was nice to see everyone working hard to spread the puck around and get different people in the scoresheet.”