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OXFORD, Ohio - No. 4 Miami completed a weekend sweep of No. 20 Vermont with a 4-1 victory in front of a crowd of 3,642 at the Goggin Ice Center on Saturday night. The Red Hawks used goals from four different players to improve to 2-0 on the season while the Catamounts dropped to 0-2.
Seniors Nino Musitelli and Tommy Wingels along with sophomore Gary Steffes each scored even strength goals for Miami. Junior defenseman Alec Martinez added a 5-on-3 goal for the Red Hawks.
Sophomore Jonathan Higgins (Stratham, N.H.) notched the second goal of his career for the Catamounts.
"I certainly thought Miami played a terrific weekend of hockey," Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon. "They are an exceptional team. We've got a lot of guys that are young and this was their first road trip and I think as a coach you have to focus on the process right now. We learned a lot about our team. I think they learned a lot about each other on a trip like this as well."
Miami took a 1-0 lead at 9:25 of the first period when Musitelli scored the 13th goal f his career. The senior tipped in a shot by sophomore Jarod Palmer.
Steffes gave the Red Hawks a 2-0 lead when he took advantage of a Vermont turnover at its own blue line at 16:27 of the first. Just as a power play opportunity was expiring for the Catamounts Steffes came up with the puck in the Vermont zone and skated in all alone on senior goalie Joe Fallon (Bemidji, Minn.). Steffes beat Fallon with a wrist shot from the right circle for the first goal of his career.
Vermont cut the deficit in half at 6:46 of the second period when Higgins skated down the left side of the ice coast-to-coast and fired a high shot past Miami junior goalie Jeff Zatkoff.
The Catamounts seemed to shift momentum in their favor following the goal but a five-minute major and game misconduct for hitting from behind just four minutes later gave the momentum back to the Red Hawks. A second minor penalty against Vermont with just over seven minutes to go in the period would lead to a 5-on-3 opportunity for Miami. The Red Hawks took advantage as Martinez scored on a wrist shot from the top of the slot to make the score 3-1.
With just 1:29 to play in the second Miami opened up a 4-1 lead on a goal by Wingels. The freshman knocked in a rebound in front. Freshman Carter Camper was credited with his second assist of the game on the play.
Fallon finished with 20 saves for Vermont while Zatkoff had 23 for Miami.
Vermont returns to action on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4pm in the Hockey East opener at Gutterson Fieldhouse against No. 2 Boston College. The first 750 UVM students to the game will receive a t-shirt courtesy of the Student Government Association. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
GAME NOTES: Both teams finished with 24 shots ... Vermont has played a total of nine games against top-5 ranked teams since November of last season including the two contests against No. 4 Miami this weekend ... The Catamounts are 6-2 all-time against the Red Hawks.