|1st||12:42||MNE||1-0||EV||Jake Rutt (4)||Cam Brown/20, Blaine Byron/13|
|2nd||18:41||VER||1-1||PP||Alexx Privitera (7)||Jake Fallon/15, Brendan Bradley/14|
|3rd||6:55||MNE||2-1||PP||Will Merchant (5)||Nolan Vesey/12, Ben Hutton/12|
|3rd||9:40||VER||2-2||EV||Jarrid Privitera (5)||Mike Paliotta/23, Anthony Petruzzelli/7|
|3rd||17:53||VER||3-2||EV GW||Brendan Bradley (4)||Brady Shaw/10, Jake Fallon/16|
|3rd||18:27||VER||4-2||EV EN||Brady Shaw (15)||Brendan Bradley/15, Alexx Privitera/15|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Matt Morris (L, 7-9-2)||58:32||3||8||13||5||26|
|Mike Santaguida (W, 8-7-2)||60:00||2||9||4||10||23|
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Brendan Bradley ripped a shot high blocker side on Matt Morris to snap a 2-2 tie with 2:07 left in regulation on Friday night and Vermont held on for a 4-2 victory over Maine to take a 1-0 lead of the best-of-three Hockey East Opening Round.
The Catamounts improved to 19-12-4 and are one win shy of their second straight 20-win season, while the Black Bears fell to 13-21-3. UVM will go for the sweep on Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse with a berth in the league quarterfinal on the line.
Bradley added two assists for a three-point night, while his linemates Brady Shaw and Jake Fallon each registered multi-point performances. Alexx Privitera got the Catamounts on the board late in the second period and added an assist in the third.
"I didn't think we played particularly well tonight but I was really impressed with our resilience that when we weren't at our best we found a way to win the third period," said head coach Kevin Sneddon. "That was certainly key for us."
Jake Rutt gave the Black Bears a 1-0 lead at 12:42 of the first period, beating Mike Santaguida (23 saves) five-hole with a wrist shot through traffic from the left point.
Vermont responded in the second period with a 14-4 shot advantage, but Morris (26 saves) made several key saves to preserve the lead until the closing minutes.
Nolan Vesey took a tripping minor with 1:31 left in the middle frame, leading to UVM's second power play of the night. Fallon sent a cross-circle pass to Privitera near the left faceoff dot and the junior beat Morris with a quick one-timer to knot the score at one.
Maine generated chances early in the third period and recaptured the lead at the 6:55 mark on its third power play opportunity. On a similar play to Vermont's power play tally, Vesey set up Will Merchant in the left circle and the junior fired a one-time shot into the upper left corner for a 2-1 cushion.
UVM tied the score for a second time less than three minutes later as Jonathan Turk won a faceoff in the offensive zone. Anthony Petruzzelli helped the puck to the left point for Mike Paliotta, and Jarrid Privitera killed the momentum of his wrister to send Morris the wrong way. The goal marked Privitera's third against Maine this season.
Play was tight down the stretch until Bradley controlled the puck off a neutral ice faceoff outside the Maine blue line. The sophomore skated into the left wing circle outside the dot and caught Morris off guard with a quick shot. Fallon and Shaw picked up the assists on the eventual game-winner at 17:53.
"Brad's shot was certainly a fantastic one. He's been a little bit snake-bitten up until the last couple of games so hopefully this gives him some confidence offensively," said Sneddon.
The teams called back-to-back timeouts with 1:42 left on the clock and Maine pulled Morris for an extra skater with an offensive zone draw. UVM controlled the faceoff as Privitera and Bradley helped clear the puck along the right wing. Shaw sent a backhander into the empty net from the right hash mark to seal the win.
Vermont out-shot Maine for the fifth straight game with a 30-25 edge. The victory was UVM's eighth straight over the Black Bears and the fifth consecutive at home.
The Catamounts and Black Bears face off in Game 2 of the best-of-three opening round series on Saturday (March 7) at 7:05 p.m.
Reserved tickets cost $22 for adults and $17 for children 17 and under, while general admission tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Tickets can be purchased online at UVMathletics.com/Tickets or at the Gutterson Fieldhouse Box Office, which opens at 6 p.m. prior to the game.
All the action will be televised live on FOX College Sports Atlantic, as well as WVII, WFVX, and WPME in Maine. DISH Network will air Game 2 on channel 458. Check your listings for FCS Atlantic availability on local cable providers (channel finder).
Pack Network will stream all Hockey East playoff games on a pay-per-view basis via HockeyEastOnline.TV. Fans can purchase a league pass for up to 20 playoff games for $59.95, and individual games are available for $9.95 each.
Pre-game radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on WVMT 620-AM, SportsJuice.com, and the TuneIn Radio app with Alastair Ingram and Jerry Tarrant on the call.