DURHAM, N.H. - Trailing 2-0 after the first period the Vermont men's hockey team scored three unanswered goals to sweep the season series with New Hampshire in a 3-2 win from the Whittemore Center in Hockey East action.
"We were not pleased with our start tonight but very happy with our effort in the second and third, the two periods that won us this game," Head Coach Todd Woodcroft said. "The "never quit " attitude starts with our leadership group and the resiliency to stick with the game plan - on the road against a strong opponent - bodes well for the future. The continued five on five production of our underclassmen is something to look forward to. And Gabe Carriere was Gabe Carriere when it mattered most, just an excellent road win."
HOW IT HAPPENED
- On the first power play of the game the Catamounts almost opened the scoring. Andrei Buyalsky rang a shot off the post at the 12:43 mark.
- New Hampshire did open the scoring on its first power play of the game. Chase Stevenson fired from the point and in front of UVM's Gabe Carriere the puck was knocked down by Liam Devlin. Devlin gathered the puck and slipped it past Carriere for his 12th goal of the season with 9:10 to go in the opening frame.
- Just 29 seconds later the Wildcats scored again to make it a two-goal lead. In transition Kalle Eriksson was lost in the Vermont zone as a late trailer and he skated into the slot after receiving a pass from Jake Dunlop. Eriksson beat Carriere with a hard-low shot for his second goal of the campaign.
- Vermont cut the lead in half 1:03 into the middle frame. Eric Gotz won a puck battle in the Vermont zone and Timofei Spitserov tapped the puck to first year Massimo Lombardi. Lombardi took it the distance from there. As he cut to his right he fired a shot labeled for the top left corner for his second career goal.
- With 5:20 to play in the second Joel Maatta just missed tying the game up. Jacques Bouquot found him alone at the top of the slot and his snap shot rang off the crossbar and out of play.
- Three minutes into the third period Simon Jellus did equalize for the Catamounts. Buyalski passed back to the point to Robbie Stucker and he made a nifty move on his backhand to evade a UNH defender before firing over a perfect cross-ice feed to Jellus who one-timed it past New Hampshire's Tyler Muszelik for his third goal of the season.
- Just 90 seconds later Vermont took the lead. Ralfs Bergmanis forced a turnover in the Vermont zone and pushed the puck up to Isak Walther. Walther and Bouquot broke into the UNH zone on a two-on-two. They worked a give-and-go perfectly and Walther broke in alone and beat Muszelik with a backhand for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
- The Wildcats used their timeout with 2:15 to play in regulation and pulled their goaltender. In the final moments Gabe Carriere made six saves to preserve the win for the Catamounts.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Isak Walther scored his second game-winning goal of the season and third of his career tonight.
- Tonight's win was Vermont's 10th of the season, with the victory all Hockey East teams have reached double-digit wins for the first time since the 2017-18 campaign.
- With tonight's 3-2 decision, Community Bank N.A. will donate $225 to Special Olympics Vermont. Community Bank, N.A. donates $75 per goal to Special Olympics Vermont for every goal the men's and women's team scores this season.
With tonight's win, Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate $100 to the King Street Center, as part of the Cats Win, Community Wins initiative. Since the campaigns inauguration in 2017, Vermont Mutual Insurance Group has donated over $80,000 to local non-profits.
Vermont will close out the regular season on Saturday night at #16 Merrimack. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. and the action will air live on ESPN+ from Lawler Rink. It will also be available on a pay-per-view basis internationally at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/hockeyeast. Subscriptions to the service are available for $9.99 USD per month or $4.99 USD for individual games. The voice of the Catamounts, Adam LaFleur, will broadcast the action from the Handy Toyota Broadcast Booth on WVMT (FM 96.3 / AM 620). As always, the game will also be available on the Varsity Network App.