VERMONT UPENDS UNION, 2-1, IN OPENING ROUND OF CATAMOUNT CUP
Freshman netminder Brody Hoffman stops 24 shots for Catamounts
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Robert Polesello and Kyle Reynolds each scored a goal and Brody Hoffman made 24 saves as Vermont shut down 12th-ranked Union down the stretch for a 2-1 win in the annual Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup on Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts improve to 5-8-4 (3-5-4 HEA), while the Dutchmen fall 8-4-4 (3-2-3 ECAC) to push their winless streak to five.
"I'm really pleased. I thought it was a total team effort," said head coach Kevin Sneddon. "A lot of the details of the game, we paid special attention to tonight. Even the plays at the end, I said to our guys, that's what wins hockey games. Those little things add up over the course of the game and I thought we did that well tonight."
After a scoreless first period, the Catamounts finally opened the scoring roughly halfway through the game. Mike Montagna led a pass down the right wing boards to Brett Bruneteau, and he skated in on a 2-on-1 with Polesello. Bruneteau deked to his backhand and slid a feed to Polesello, and the rookie fired the puck into the open net for his second collegiate goal.
Later in the frame, Vermont doubled the lead after killing off its third straight Union power play. Yvan Pattyn sent a stretch pass down the middle of the ice for Reynolds and the sophomore skated in alone on Troy Grosenick. Reynolds deked backhand and beat Grosenick five hole to make it a 2-0 game. Chris McCarthy picked up the second assist on the play.
The Dutchmen drew a goal back on the power play at the 12:31 mark of the third period. Mat Bodie's center point shot was blocked by Vermont in the slot, but Greg Coburn picked up the loose puck and fired it blocker side past Hoffman. Kyle Bodie had the second assist as Union cut the lead to 2-1.
After calling its timeout, Union pulled Grosenick with 65 seconds remaining for an extra skater. Jacob Fallon won several key faceoffs in the final minute and the Cats sealed the victory in the Union offensive zone. Vermont finished the night 3-4 on the penalty kill against a Dutchmen power play that entered the night ranked number one in the nation.
The Catamount Cup resumes on Sunday (Dec. 30) with two more games to close out the event. Merrimack takes on Union at 4 p.m., followed by the Catamounts facing Princeton at 7:05 p.m. The UVM game will be televised on WCAXtra, and radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on WVMT 620-AM and SportsJuice.com. Live video of both contests is available for free through CatamounTV.
NOTES: Vermont was playing Union for the 30th matchup in the all-time series, but the first time since moving to Hockey East prior to the 2005-06 season ... The Catamounts are 14-3-0 all-time at home against the Dutchmen ... Kevin Sneddon was the head coach at Union for five years from 1998 to 2003 prior to his time at UVM ... He was assisted by current assistant coach Kevin Patrick for four of those seasons ... The Catamounts are 12-4-1 under Sneddon in the Catamount Cup.