CANTON, N.Y. – Vermont used a balanced offensive attack, terrific penalty killing and great goaltending from junior Joe Fallon (Bemidji, Minn.) to win its eighth game in nine tries. Fallon made 31 saves to extend his school record for shutouts to 14 and junior co-captain Torrey Mitchell (Greenfield Park, Quebec) scored a shorthanded goal to lead the 13th-ranked Catamounts past St. Lawrence 4-0 at Appleton Arena on Saturday night. Vermont also killed off all seven St. Lawrence power plays as the Catamounts improved to 10-5-1 (6-2-1, Hockey East) on the season.
“I thought our best penalty killer tonight was our goaltender,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “Joe (Fallon) made some extraordinary saves and several of them on the penalty kill. When we stopped four power plays in a row early on it really energized our bench. Overall it’s big to come away with a win in this building.”
Senior co-captain Kenny Macaulay (Baddeck, Nova Scotia) notched a power-play goal and senior assistant captain Chris Myers (South Boston, Mass.) and freshman Viktor Stålberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) both added even strength tallies for the Catamounts.
Vermont also earned its third shutout of the year as the nation’s top ranked penalty kill (92.5-percent) stymied the Saints (8-8-1) power play. The Catamounts have now killed off 47 of the last 49 power play chances they have faced.
Mitchell gave Vermont a 1-0 lead at 16:51 of the first period with a shorthanded goal. Mitchell skated down the right side and moved past two St. Lawrence defenders and beat Saints goalie Kain Tisi five-hole. Sophomore Dean Strong (Mississauga, Ontario) and Macaulay both assisted on the first shorthanded tally for the Catamounts since Corey Carlson (Two Harbors, Minn.) had one on Dec. 2, 2005 in a 3-3 tie against New Hampshire. It was Mitchell’s sixth goal of the season.
With the Catamounts leading 1-0 and on the power play in the second period, Macaulay fired a shot from the right circle past Tisi top-shelf for his second goal of the year. Junior assistant captain Mark Lutz (Stevens Point, Wis.) and Carlson each assisted on the score that made it 2-0 Vermont.
Less than two minutes later Myers gave the Catamounts a 3-0 lead. Senior Ryan Gunderson (Bensalem, Pa.) setup the score with a blast from the point. Tisi made the initial save but Myers slammed home the rebound for his third goal of the season at 15:34 of the second period. Freshman Patrick Cullity (Tewsbury, Mass.) also notched his fourth assist of the season on the play.
Stålberg put the game out of reach for the Saints at 9:26 of the third period with his third goal of the season. The freshman made a terrific move from behind the net and slid inside the slot to beat Tisi five-hole for the score. Freshman Brayden Irwin (Toronto, Ontario) and Carlson both recorded a helper on the goal that made it 4-0 UVM.
Vermont matched a season high in shots with 40 and went 1-for-5 on the power play. The Catamounts have won six of the last eight games in the series against St. Lawrence.
Vermont returns to action on Friday, Dec. 29 in the first round of the Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts take on Rensselaer in the first round at 7:05pm while Union takes on No. 6 St. Cloud State at 4:00pm. The following night the consolation game of the Catamount Cup is at 4:00pm and the championship game will be at 7:05pm.
On Friday of the Catamount Cup the first 2,500 fans will receive thundersticks courtesy of Heritage Ford and Toyota and the first 100 fans will also receive a poster collage calendar of the Catamounts. On Saturday of the Catamount Cup the first 1,000 fans will receive 2007 glasses courtesy of the Sheraton and TD Banknorth. Saturday is also Verizon Superpages Corporate Night. All giveaways will begin one hour before the scheduled start time of Vermont’s game.
GAME NOTES: Vermont is 6-3-0 on the road this season and 4-3-0 against non-conference opponents ... Tonight’s game was the 80th meeting all-time between St. Lawrence and Vermont ... The Saints lead the all-time series 43-34-3 ... Vermont is 9-1-1 when scoring first this season.