College Hockey: UVM Men Get Hockey East Win; Women Eliminated from Playoffs

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

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BURLINGTON –– The Vermont Catamounts broke a 1-1 deadlock with three goals in the second period and earned their first Hockey East win of the season, knocking off 12th-ranked Northeastern 4-2 on TD Bank Night Friday at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

“It was a great hockey game for our team, Northeastern is obviously a very, very talented team,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “I’m just really happy for our guys; they’ve had a lot of close games where they’ve played their hearts out and haven’t been rewarded. It was awesome to see them smiling.”

Alex Esposito gave Vermont an early lead at 1:46 of the first period. Matt Alvaro wheeled around the Northeastern net and found Esposito on the right hash mark for a one-time goal over Craig Pantano’s glove. Corey Moriarty picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
Northeastern senior Biagio Lerario tied the game in the second period, netting his fourth goal of the season at 1:23 of the frame. Matt Demelis and Aidan McDonough assisted on the goal.
Esposito scored his second of the game at 3:32 of the second retake the lead. Alvaro won an offensive zone faceoff back to Owen Grant, who found Esposito at the top of the right circle for the one-time goal.
Derek Lodermeier doubled the Catamount lead at 5:31 of the frame, blasting a cross-ice pass from William Lemay past a sliding Pantano from the right dot. Esposito picked up the secondary assist for his third point of the night.
Ace Cowans scored his seventh of the season at 16:30 of the middle period to give Vermont a 4-1 lead. Cowans received a neutral zone pass from Lemay and wired a wrist shot under Pantano’s glove from the left circle.
Demelis cut into the Vermont lead at 1:22 of the third period, receiving a pass from McDonough alone in the slot before slotting a shot over Stefanos Lekkas’ blocker.

Alvaro recorded his 50th and 51st career points with assists on Vermont’s first two goals. It marked his 12th career multi-point game.
Esposito recorded his first career three-point game against the Huskies. He entered the night with six two-point outings in his career.
Lekkas finished the night with 31 saves and now has 3,847 career saves. He is three saves shy of matching Graham Melanson for seventh-most in NCAA history.
Sneddon recorded his 250th career win at UVM and 300th career NCAA win Friday night.
With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate $100 to a Vermont charity, bringing the 2020 total to 33 wins totaling $3,300. A special thank you to Vermont Mutual Insurance for their support, protecting Vermonters since 1828.

University of Vermont Athletics and the University Licensing Department are proud to announce a partnership with Nike and BSN Sports to make sport-specific gear available to our fans. Order Vermont Hockey apparel by clicking here.

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Vermont closes the 2019-20 home slate tomorrow night against Northeastern on Senior Night presented by the UVM Alumni Association at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The six members of the Class of 2020 will be honored prior to the 7:05 p.m. puck drop.

BOSTON, MA. –– Top-seeded Northeastern (30-4-2, 24-3-0 HEAW) struck twice in the second period to a secure a 3-1 victory over eighth-seeded Vermont (10-18-8, 7-14-6 HEAW) in Game 2 of the Hockey East Quarterfinals. The Huskies clinched the best-of-three series with the win.

“I’m so proud of this team’s effort this weekend,” said head coach Jim Plumer. “I felt that we gave Northeastern our very best and we played two extremely competitive games. Our seniors have a lot to be proud of. They have made our program better in every way and it was fitting that Ève-Audrey Picard moved higher into the record books with her huge goal in the first period. Congrats to Northeastern on advancing and best of luck to them the rest of the season.”

The Catamounts took advantage of a late first-period power play when Ève-Audrey Picard notched her fifth goal of the season to put Vermont up 1-0. Ali O’Leary rang a shot off the low post and Picard banged home the rebound from just outside the crease with 15.9 seconds left in the opening frame. Sara Levesque earned her 12th assist of the season with the secondary helper.
Northeastern tied the game 1-1 with 11:04 left in the second period on Skylar Fontaine’s 14th goal of the season. The sophomore fired an off-angle shot that trickled past Blanka Škodová (41 saves). The play was initially ruled “no goal” on the ice, but overturned after video review.
Peyton Anderson grabbed the lead for the Huskies 59 seconds later with her seventh goal of the season. Fontaine fired the first shot and Anderson jammed home the rebound. The go-ahead goal was confirmed by video review.
Alina Mueller added the insurance marker for NU with her league-leading 25th goal of the season 6:49 into the third period. The sophomore fired a shot from the high slot while on a 5-on-3 power play. Fontaine and Mia Brown were credited with assists.
Vermont nearly cut the deficit inside the eight-minute mark when Val Caldwell snuck a shot under the pads of Aerin Frankel (25 saves). However, the play was instantly waved off due to a hand pass.
The Catamounts brought on the extra attacker in the final stages of the game, but were unable to erase the Huskies’ lead.
Škodová eclipsed her career-high save total with her 41 stops tonight. The sophomore’s previous high of 34 saves came in her collegiate debut against Quinnipiac (Oct. 13, 2018).
Picard’s goal was the 98th point of her career. The senior finishes her collegiate career second on the all-time points list at UVM. She also has the second-most assists (55) in program history and the fifth-most goals (43).
There are new names holding the single-season records for Vermont blueliners after the 2019-20 campaign. Maude Poulin-Labelle recorded the most points (29) by a UVM defenseman and tied Dayna Colang ’16 for the most goals (12). Sini Karjalainen’s 19 assists were also a program record.

University of Vermont Athletics and the University Licensing Department are proud to announce a partnership with Nike and BSN Sports to make sport-specific gear available to our fans. Order Vermont women’s hockey apparel by clicking here. Store closes on Monday (Mar. 2), order now.