Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
CANTON, N.Y. –– Stefanos Lekkas stood tall between the pipes, recording a 35-save shutout as the Vermont Catamounts (1-1-0, 0-0-0 HEAM) took a 2-0 win over the St. Lawrence Saints (1-3-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) Saturday night at Roos Ice Arena on the campus of SUNY Canton.
“I thought St. Lawrence did an excellent job pressuring us; we made a lot of early-season mistakes under pressure and quite frankly they played better than us in the second half of the game,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “But we found a way to pull out a hard-earned win tonight. As I said to the guys in the locker room afterwards, I don’t think any of us are confident or comfortable in that situation, yet, and hopefully this is the one that turns it around.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The ice tilted early in favor of Vermont as the Catamounts outshot the Saints 19-4 in the opening period. Despite the shot gap, the period ended scoreless. The Catamount defense blocked seven shots in the opening frame.
Vermont continued its onslaught in the second period, firing three quick shots on St. Lawrence goalie Frank Boisvert (31 saves). Alex Esposito found the night’s first goal three minutes into the period, firing home a rebound from a Joey Cipollone shot from the low right circle. Jacques Bouquot picked up the goal’s secondary assist.
Bouquot nearly doubled the Vermont lead with 6:45 to play in the second, splitting the defense through the neutral zone before ripping a shot off the right post.
Lekkas stopped all 11 shots faced in the middle frame and followed that with a 20-save third period. He recorded five saves during a pair of St. Lawrence power plays in the third period. Lekkas made 13 saves during St. Lawrence power plays in the game.
The Saints pulled Boisvert with 1:50 to play and put the pressure on the Catamount defense. Bryce Misley sealed the victory as he skated the puck into the empty net with 17 seconds to play. Matt Alvaro was credited with the assist on Misley’s goal.
Lekkas recorded his fourth career shutout and first since the 2017-18 season opener against Colorado College.
Esposito recorded his second career game-winning goal.
St. Lawrence went 0-for-5 on the power play while Vermont finished the game 0-for-2. The Saints had a 35-33 advantage in shots. The Catamount defense blocked 13 shots.
Simon Boyko became the fifth Catamount to make his collegiate debut in the opening weekend.
With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate $100 to Make-A-Wish Vermont; bringing this year’s total to 78 wins and $7,800.
UP NEXT | Tickets
Vermont returns to Gutterson Fieldhouse for the first home game of the season next Friday (Oct. 25) against the Maine Black Bears (3-2-0, 0-1-0 HEAM). It also marks Vermont’s first Hockey East conference game of the 2019-20 season.
The Catamounts will wear lavender jerseys in the annual Rally Against Cancer game, presented by Inspired Closets. Fans can bid on the game-worn jerseys beginning on Thursday (Oct. 24) and continue through the end of the month. There will also be a postgame poster and autograph session with players in the Gutterson lobby courtesy of UVM Print & Mail.