BURLINGTON, Vt. – Vermont scored four power-play goals and junior goalie Joe Fallon (Bemidji, Minn.) made 23 saves to earn his 12th career shutout as the Catamounts defeated No. 14 Colgate 6-0 in day one of the Ice Breaker Invitational at the Goggin Ice Center in Oxford, Ohio. The victory puts the Catamounts (1-0-0) in the title game of the Ice Breaker Invitational tomorrow against either Denver or Miami at 4:35pm or 7:35pm.
“I’m just really, really impressed with our guys,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “We played really well together. We had four new faces in the lineup and I thought all those guys did a very good job. I thought we skated hard for 60 minutes and probably won more races to loose pucks than Colgate and got the result on the power play. We also kept it simple and that was a key to success.”
Senior co-captain Kenny Macaulay (Baddeck, Nova Scotia) gave the Catamounts a 1-0 advantage with a power-play goal at 10:54 of the first period. Macaulay fired a shot from just inside the blue line and it was deflected by a Colgate defender and went into the net for Macaulay’s 10th career goal. Sophomore Kyle Kuk (Monroe, Mich.) and freshman Brian Roloff (West Seneca, N.Y.) each assisted on the play.
Less than 30 seconds later senior Tom Collingham (Yonkers, N.Y.) scored an unassisted goal. Collingham came in from behind the net and slid the puck off the back leg of Colgate junior goalie Mark Dekanich to give the Catamounts a 2-0 advantage. The goal was the second of Collingham’s career.
At 15:59 of the opening period Kuk gave Vermont a 3-0 lead when he flipped a wrist shot from the left circle past Dekanich just inside the right pipe. It was the first goal of Kuk’s career and the score also gave him the first multi-point game of his career. Sophomore Corey Carlson (Two Harbors, Minn.) and Roloff picked up assists on the goal.
Vermont opened up a 4-0 lead when sophomore Peter Lenes (Shelburne, Vt.) scored his first goal of the season on the power play at 5:15 of the third period. Lenes blasted a shot from the right circle that beat Dekanich and sophomore Dean Strong (Mississauga, Ontario) and senior Ryan Gunderson (Bensalem, Pa.) each earned an assist.
The Catamounts added two more power-play goals as Lenes scored again at 7:36 of the third period. Strong followed up with his first goal of the year on an assist from junior co-captain Torrey Mitchell (Greenfield Park, Quebec) to make it 6-0 Catamounts. The goal along with a pair of assists gave Strong a career high three-point game.
The shutout for Fallon was the 12th of his career extending his school record. It was his first shutout since Jan. 14, 2006 in a 3-0 win over Northeastern.
UVM out shot Colgate 34 to 23 and the Catamounts went 4-for-11 on the power play while holding the Raiders to 0-for-8 on the man advantage.
Miami and Denver meet in the second game of the Ice Breaker Invitational tonight at 8:05pm. If Miami wins the Catamounts will play the Red Hawks for the Ice Breaker title tomorrow at 7:35pm. If Denver wins the Catamounts will play the Pioneers at 4:35pm for the Ice Breaker title.
Saturday’s game can be heard live on the flagship station for Vermont hockey on WVMT-AM 620 and on the Internet by going to www.sportsjuice.com or www.uvmathletics.com. The game will also be broadcast on ESPNU (Adelphia Channel 133) but on a tape delay basis and will be televised on Sunday at 3:00pm or 5:00pm.
Game Notes ... Vermont looks to become the sixth Hockey East team to win the Ice Breaker Invitational in the first 10 years of the tournament tomorrow ... The game between the Catamounts and Red Raiders was the first-ever regular season game played at the new $34.8-million Cady Arena at the Goggin Ice Center ... It was also the first Division I college hockey game of the 2006-07 season ... The Catamounts have won five straight regular season tournament games dating back to last year when UVM won both the Nye Frontier Classic and the Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup titles ... Tonight’s game was broadcast on ESPNU and is the first of 16 men’s hockey games that will be televised this season ... Vermont’s victory gives the Catamounts a win in the season opener for the second straight year ... UVM last won back-to-back season openers in 1995 and 1996 when the Catamounts defeated New Hampshire in consecutive years ... Brian Roloff’s two assists were the first points of his career ... With two assists Ryan Gunderson now has a total of eight multi-assist games in his career.