BURLINGTON, Vt. – No. 4 New Hampshire used the nation’s second ranked offense to explode for a 7-1 victory over No. 15 Vermont in front of the 48th straight sellout crowd of 4,003 at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Friday night. The 48th consecutive sellout sets a new UVM school record. The Wildcats improve to 15-3-1 overall and 11-1-1 in Hockey East while the Catamounts drop to 11-7-1 and 6-3-1 in league play.
“You could say we were awful from the net out tonight,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “When we looked down our list we didn’t have a player that played well tonight. When we are playing against one of the best teams in the country in our own building we expect more. We’re really disappointed in the way we started the game and certainly the way we finished the game. Give credit to them they are an awesome team.”
The Wildcats scored three goals in the first period and added four more in the second period. Vermont freshman Colin Vock (Plymouth, Mich.) scored Vermont’s lone goal on the power play midway through the first period.
New Hampshire senior Shawn Vinz started the scoring for the Wildcats with a goal at 5:20 of the first period. Vinz snuck the puck past Vermont junior goalie Joe Fallon (Bemidji, Minn.) at the goal line after some miscommunication by the Catamounts in their own zone.
UNH sophomore Jerry Pollastrone made it 2-0 in favor of UNH at 7:40 of the first period on his eighth goal of the year.
Then sophomore Greg Collins made it 3-0 with a shorthanded tally at 10:56 of the period. Vermont freshman goalie Mike Spillane (Bow, N.H.) replaced Fallon in net following the goal.
Vermont pulled within 3-1 when Vock scored his sixth goal of the year at 12:01 of the opening period. With the Catamounts working on the power play, junior assistant captain Mark Lutz (Stevens Point, Wis.) fired a shot from the point and the puck deflected off Vock’s leg into the net. Freshman Brayden Irwin (Toronto, Ontario) also assisted on the score.
In the second period senior Brett Hemingway and sophomore Trevor Smith both scored twice for the Wildcats as UNH opened up a 7-1 lead. Both of Smith’s goals came on the power play.
Fallon returned to net in the third period for the Catamounts and turned away six shots and he finished with 10 saves in the game. Spillane made 12 saves in 29:04 of work.
Junior Kevin Regan and freshman Brian Foster shared time in goal for UNH and combined for 10 stops. UNH outshot Vermont 29-11 in the game. The 11 shots were a season low for UVM.
The Catamounts return to action on Saturday at 7:05pm at Gutterson Fieldhouse when they host the Wildcats in the third and final regular season meeting between the two teams. The first 2,500 fans will receive thundersticks courtesy of Heritage Ford and Toyota. The first 2,000 fans will also receive a rubber puck courtesy of Flooring America at the Carpetbagger. During the second intermission there will also be a “Chuck-A-Puck” promotion to benefit the Travis Roy Foundation. Pucks will be sold at the promotions table and in the Gutterson Fieldhouse stands for $1.00.
Saturday’s game will be televised live on CN8 (Comcast Channel 18). The game will also be streamed over the Internet via B2 Networks for a fee of $6. The game can be heard live on the flagship station for Catamounts hockey on WVMT-AM 620 and on the Internet by going to www.sportsjuice.com.
GAME NOTES: Tonight’s game was broadcast live on NESN and marked the opening night of Hockey East’s Friday Night Live this season … It was the eighth time Vermont has been on television this season … The Catamounts will appear on TV a minimum of 17 times this season … UNH leads the all-time series against Vermont 61-14-3.