BURLINGTON, Vt. – UMass-Lowell freshman Kory Falite scored the game-winning goal midway through the second period to give the River Hawks a 2-1 victory over No. 15 Vermont in front of the 56th straight sellout crowd of 4,003 at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Friday night. The Catamounts fall to 17-14-4 overall and 12-10-4 in Hockey East while UMass-Lowell improves to 8-21-6 and 7-16-3 in league play.
“I thought we had some very poor leadership from our veteran players tonight and that starts from the net out,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “Our go to players were not our go to players. We had a bunch of freshmen looking for answers; they played well and didn’t have anybody to look up to tonight.”
Sophomore Peter Lenes (Shelburne, Vt.) scored Vermont’s only goal at even strength in the first period.
UMass-Lowell senior co-captain Jeremy Hall scored the first goal of the game for the River Hawks.
Vermont outshot UMass-Lowell 30-20. UML freshman goalie Carter Hutton made 29 saves in his first start in two months.
UML struck first just 26 seconds into the game on Hall’s eighth goal of the season. Senior co-captain Jason Tejchma setup the score with a pass from the goal line to make it 1-0 River Hawks.
Vermont tied the score at one at 13:12 of the first period when Lenes recorded his fifth goal of the season. Junior co-captain captain Torrey Mitchell (Greenfield Park, Quebec) working from behind the net found a wide open Lenes in the slot. Lenes received the pass from Mitchell and blasted a one-timer past Hutton. Sophomore Dean Strong (Mississauga, Ontario) also assisted on the play.
The River Hawks regained the lead at 8:50 of the second period on a goal by Falite. The freshman backhanded a shot in front past Vermont junior goalie Joe Fallon (Bemidji, Minn.) to make it 2-1. Falite’s team leading 10th goal of the season proved to be the game-winner.
The Catamounts outshot the River Hawks 8-4 in the third period and had the only power play chance of the game in the period but were unable to tie the score.
There were only a total of three penalties called in the game. UMass-Lowell, the least penalized team in the country, had just two minor penalties while Vermont had just one.
Fallon made 18 stops in the loss for the Catamounts.
Vermont faces UMass-Lowell again on Saturday at Gutterson Fieldhouse at 7:05pm. On Saturday at the Gut it's senior night. A poster with the eight Vermont seniors will be distributed to the first 500 fans.
GAME NOTES: With the loss Vermont can finish no higher than fifth in the Hockey East standings going into the final regular season game of the year tomorrow ... Despite the win UML was eliminated from the Hockey East playoffs because of Providence’s 7-2 victory over Merrimack ... The goal for Lenes was his first since Dec. 30 in a loss against St. Cloud State ... Tonight’s defeat against UML was just the second loss for the Catamounts this season against a team that is not currently ranked in the top -20 of the latest USCHO.com/CSTV poll ... The Catamounts are 0-8-1 when trailing after two periods this season ... Vermont is 2-12-1 when its opponent scores first.