Sophomore forward Kyle Reynolds scored two goals for the Catamounts
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Kyle Reynolds scored a pair of first period goals and Brody Hoffman stopped 36 shots as Vermont collected a 3-2 Hockey East victory over Massachusetts on Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts snap their five-game losing streak and move to 7-13-4 (4-9-4 HEA), while the Minutemen fall to 9-12-2 (6-9-1 HEA).
"Our penalty kill was excellent tonight and (Brody) played well all game but really played well at the end to preserve the win," said head coach Kevin Sneddon. "They gave us everything we could handle literally right to the last shot. Probably the best word to describe our play tonight was relentless. It was a total team win but some guys stepped up for us tonight."
Reynolds opened the scoring at 3:23 of the first period as he collected a loose puck in the right slot. The sophomore wristed a low shot on net and it snuck inside the right post to beat Steve Mastalerz. Nick Bruneteau and Matt White picked up the assists on the play.
The Catamounts added to the lead roughly six minutes later as H.T. Lenz skated into the right side of the UMass zone. The junior captain fired a slap shot that was kicked out by the right pad of Mastalerz, but Reynolds poked home the rebound into an open net from the left circle to make it a 2-0 game.
Vermont took the lead into the first intermission and netted an insurance tally on the power play near the end of the middle frame. Robert Polesello slid a pass to Jacob Fallon in the right slot, and Fallon quickly wristed a shot past Mastalerz's blocker as the Cats took a 3-0 advantage. Nick Luukko had the second assist at 14:39.
Michael Pereira drew one back for the Minutemen with 1:17 remaining in the period, taking a feed from Joel Hanley and beating Hoffman blocker side from the left circle. In the third period, UVM killed off four straight UMass power plays and held the 3-1 advantage into the closing minutes.
Massachusetts called its timeout with 1:26 remaining and pulled Mastalerz for an extra skater. The Minutemen won the ensuing faceoff to the point for a shot from Darren Rowe, and Branden Gracel snuck the rebound inside the left post to cut the Vermont lead in half.
Hoffman made a key right pad save on a point shot with less than a minute left, and the Catamounts held on for the victory. Vermont finished the night 1-4 on the power play and went a perfect 6-6 on the penalty kill. Mastalerz stopped 22 shots in a losing effort for Massachusetts.
Vermont travels to Conte Forum next Friday (Feb. 1) to face third-ranked Boston College at 7 p.m. Radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on WVMT 620-AM and online at SportsJuice.com with Alastair Ingram calling the action. It will mark the first of three meetings between the Catamounts and Eagles this season.
NOTES: Five of the last six meetings between Vermont and Massachusetts have been decided by one goal ... Kyle Reynolds has six goals in six career games against UMass, including a pair of multi-goal games at Gutterson ... Chris McCarthy skated in his 100th career game on Saturday, joining Anders Franzon and Tobias Nilsson-Roos in reaching the century mark this season ... Brody Hoffman finished the weekend with 70 saves and has made at least 30 saves 11 times this season ... The Catamounts are 14 for their last 16 on the penalty kill in the last three games.