VERMONT CATAMOUNTS OUTLAST DARTMOUTH COLLEGE, 6-5
Sebastian Stalberg posts two goals and an assist while Matt Marshall scores twice for Catamounts
HANOVER, N.H. - Matt Marshall recorded his first career multi-goal game and netted the game-winner with 7:30 remaining in the third period to lift Vermont to its first road win of season over No. 19 Dartmouth in a game televised on ESPNU at Thompson Arena Sunday.
The Catamounts watched a three-goal lead disappear and trailed midway through the third period in game that saw momentum shift with every goal scored. Rob Madore finished the game with 32 saves in net for Vermont and preserved the victory with an exceptional last minute stand that saw a flurry of shots coming from all angles.
Vermont had five different players record a multi-point game in its third straight victory over the Big Green and second straight at Thompson Arena.
The Catamounts opened the scoring extravaganza 4:49 into the first period when Wahsontiio Stacey (1g, 2a) took a lead pass from Sebastian Stahlberg (2g, 1a). Stacey made one move in the right circle and quickly snapped a wrist shot that was partially tipped by a Dartmouth defender and beat James Mello high glove side for his team leading seventh goal of the season.
At 4:58 of the first frame Dartmouth took a tripping call to give Vermont its first chance on the power play. With time running out on the man advantage Nick Bruneteau fed the puck to Stacey in the left circle. Stacey laced a pass to Stahlberg who was low on the left baseline. Stalberg had seemingly no angle to put a shot on net but was able to lift a shot high, blocker side to beat Mello and give the Catamounts a two-goal lead.
Less then two minutes later Dartmouth was trying to clear the zone when Lance Herrington stuffed a defender and fed Brett Leonard. Leonard took the puck to the low wall and slid a pass to Matt Marshall in the slot. Marshall shook Mello with a move and finished a backhand shot as he fell to the ice to give the Catamounts a three-goal advantage.
Mello was scored on three times in three shots and was pulled from the Big Green net after the Marshall goal at 7:46. Mello came into the contest first in the country in save percentage (.958) and second in goals against (1.27).
Jody O'Neill finished the game in net for Dartmouth and recorded 18 saves in over 52 minutes.
Just when it seemed all of the momentum was in favor of Vermont, the Big Green got the crowd of 3,302 on their feet when Adam Estcolet picked up a loose puck in the left circle, turned and tossed a shot through traffic that beat Madore short side.
The Catamounts were determined not to let Dartmouth back into the contest and extended their lead to three 3:16 into the second period when Matt White tallied the first goal of his career. Drew Mackenzie controlled the puck in the neutral zone and placed a perfect pass to an on-coming Brett Leonard (2 assists.). Leonard danced around the Big Green defense and fired a shot that ricocheted of the pads of O'Neill. White picked up the loose puck and lifted a shot past O'Neill for a 4-1 Catamount lead.
A mere 30 seconds after the White goal, the Big Green cut the deficit in half when Eric Robinson centered a pass to Nick Walsh who skated in alone on net and beat Madore before the netminder had a chance to react. Doug Jones picked up an assist on the play.
Before the Catamounts could let what just happened sink in Walsh struck again at 4:13 as he skated in the Vermont zone on a 2-on-1 add man rush. The Catamounts missed the marking assignment and Walsh made the defense pay as he tallied his second goal of the game. The goal was unassisted.
With Vermont clinging to a one-goal lead forward H.T. Lenz took a 2-minute penalty for crosschecking. The Big Green immediately took advantage of the opportunity. Jones found Estcolet wide open in the slot who buried a one time wrist shot to even the game 4-4 heading into the second intermission. Scott Fleming also was credited for an assist on the play.
The contest was up for grabs to begin the third frame and it was Dartmouth that struck first. Josh Burrows took a penalty for interference in front of the Vermont goal and gave the Big Green their fourth attempt with a man advantage.
Matthew Lindbald gave Dartmouth its first lead of the game when he tallied his team leading fifth goal of the year picking up a loose puck on the doorstep that the UVM defense was unable to clear. Madore had stopped the initial shot but got caught up in a screen right in front of the net. Lindbald tucked away the second power play score (2-4 pp) for the Big Green past the outstretched reach of Madore for a 5-4 lead.
"It was a strange back-in-forth game," said Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon. "That was a tough power play goal that we gave up to start the third period. I thought our guys responded really well. I told our guys they had to find a way and that no one was going to feel sorry for them."
Vermont seemed to be on its way to a disappointing loss when Stahlberg gave the green and gold just the lift that they needed. Herrington took a shot that went just wide to the right of the net where Stahlberg was waiting. Stahlberg skated out from behind the net and whipped a backhanded shot through the defense and past O'Neill to tie things up once again.
At 12:30 of the third Marshall picked up his second goal of the contest, as he possessed the puck on top of the left circle. Marshall looked for an open teammate but found an open seem in the Dartmouth defense instead. The fourth line junior walked around his defender and wristed a shot to the right post that beat O'Neil and stood as the game-winner.
"This is obviously a huge win for us," said Marshall. "We had a tough start to third period giving up a power play goal, but thought we did a good job of responding by simply sticking to our systems."
"The fourth line played great. They were our best defensive line. They sparked us offensively. They were our best line tonight." Said Sneddon
The Big Green falls to 6-4-1 while the Catamounts improve to 2-8-4 on the year.
Vermont returns to action when it travels Saturday, Dec. 18 when it travels to St. Lawrence to take on the 3-8-3 Saints at Appleton Arena. Saturday is a "Bus-With-Us" game. The fan bus departs at 3:30 p.m. Visit the Marketing & Promotions page for details.
NOTES: Brett Leonard recorded his first career multi-point game...Marshall has scored three career goals at Thompson Arena...The Catamounts have won six of the last eight contest against Dartmouth... Kyle Medvec did not play due to reoccurring injury