|1st||18:23||VER||1-0||EV||Jake Fallon (2)||Mike Paliotta/4|
|2nd||17:23||CLK||1-1||EV||Troy Josephs (1)||Sam Vigneault/1, Jordan Boucher/2|
|3rd||5:33||VER||2-1||PP GW||Nick Luukko (1)||Jake Fallon/1, Alexx Privitera/3|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Steve Perry (L, 2-1-0)||59:30||2||9||4||9||22|
|Brody Hoffman (W, 2-0-0)||60:00||1||8||8||4||20|
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Senior Nick Luukko wristed home a power play goal five and a half minutes into the third period to break a 1-1 tie and lift Vermont past former ECAC rival Clarkson 2-1 in the home opener on Friday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts improve to 2-0-0 (1-0-0 HEA), while the Golden Knights fall to 2-1-0 (0-0-0 ECAC) on the year.
"Clarkson played a very, very good game tonight," said head coach Kevin Sneddon. "I don't think we were at our best. This was more of a grind-it-out game. A sign of a good team is finding a way to win and maybe finding a way when you're not at your best. The one word I would say is relentless. We had some tough shifts and we kept finding ways to come back and regain momentum."
Vermont opened the scoring near the end of the first period after an extended shift from the line of Colin Markison, Mike Stenerson, and Kevin Irwin in the Clarkson zone. The Golden Knights finally chipped the puck to neutral ice but Mike Paliotta tipped a short pass to Jake Fallon. The senior quickly deked to the slot inside the right faceoff circle and ripped a shot into the upper right corner at 18:23.
Clarkson netted the equalizer late in the second period as Jordan Boucher kept a clearance in the UVM zone along the right boards. Boucher fed Sam Vigneault down low, and he picked out linemate Troy Josephs at the backdoor for a quick finish that floated inside the right post.
Brody Hoffman (20 saves) followed the Josephs goal with a key breakaway save on Janick Asselin, who was sprung clean from the UVM blue line. Asselin tried to sneak a shot into the right corner, but Hoffman snagged it with his glove and held on to keep the game tied through two.
"That was a momentum-changing save right there," Sneddon said. "We didn't have great coverage on their first goal, a bad turnover, and then the shift after we give up a breakaway and it's late in the period. That save was probably the turning point in the game. Our guys fed off how well Hoff was playing."
Clarkson took an elbowing penalty at the 4:08 mark of the final frame for the Catamounts' third power play of the night. Fallon slid a pass to the center point for Luukko, who wristed a low shot through traffic and snuck it inside the right pipe for the eventual game-winner. Alexx Privitera picked up the secondary assist on the play at 5:33.
The Golden Knights were then called for too many men on the ice with 2:12 remaining in regulation. Clarkson pulled Steve Perry (22 saves) for an extra skater in the closing seconds but Vermont held strong in front of Hoffman to preserve the win for the junior.
UVM out-shot Clarkson 24-21 on the night, including a 10-4 edge in the third period, and was a perfect 2-for-2 on the penalty kill for the second straight game.
The Catamounts and Golden Knights complete their home-and-home series tomorrow night with a 7 p.m. faceoff at Cheel Arena in Potsdam, New York. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on WVMT 620-AM and SportsJuice.com with Alastair Ingram on the call, and a free live video stream is available at ClarksonAthletics.TV.