Men’s Hockey: Catamounts Complete Weekend Sweep of Northeastern; Norwich Rolls Into NEHC Championship Game; Seasons End For Knights and Panthers

Courtesy Vermont, Norwich, St. Michael’s and Middlebury Sports Information Offices

Four stories below …

BURLINGTON — The Vermont Catamounts erased a one-goal Husky lead and took a 3-1 win and weekend sweep over the 12th-ranked Northeastern Huskies (17-12-3, 10-11-1 HEA) on Senior Night presented by the UVM Alumni Association Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

“Words cannot express my gratitude to the fans for providing a great weekend for our team,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “Our seniors deserve this moment and I am beyond thrilled the weekend ended this way. One more to go!”

Matt Filipe scored the evening’s first goal at 1:22 of the second period, finding a Riley Hughes rebound and sneaking a shot through Stefanos Lekkas.
Bryce Misley evened the score at 1-1 just 58 seconds after Northeastern’s tally. Ace Cowans saw multiple chances turned aside by a sprawling Craig Pantano before Misley fought through traffic in the slot and buried the loose puck into the open net. Cowans and Bouquot assisted on the goal.
Misley’s second of the game at 14:54 of the second gave Vermont a 2-1 lead. Alex Esposito centered a pass from the right corner and Misley knocked it down before firing a quick shot under Pantano. William Lemay picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
Derek Lodermeier scored his second goal in as many nights at 12:31 of the third to push Vermont’s lead to 3-1. Jacques Bouquot carried the puck down the left side of the Husky zone before centering a pass to a crashing Lodermeier, who calmly flipped the puck over Pantano.
Northeastern pulled Pantano late in the third looking for a pair of goals, but a comeback bid ended when Zach Solow picked up a cross-checking minor and 10-minute misconduct at 18:51 of the frame.

The six members of the Class of 2020 were honored prior to puck drop. Matt Alvaro, Thomas Beretta, Stefanos Lekkas, Derek Lodermeier, Corey Moriarty, and Matt O’Donnell all played in their final game at Gutterson Fieldhouse and will graduate in May.
Lekkas finished the game with 22 saves to bring his career total to 3,869. He currently sits seventh in NCAA history.
Misley’s two goal night marked the first multi-goal performance of his career. It was the third multi-point effort of his career.
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 37 wins totaling $3,700. 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.

Vermont closes the 2019-20 season with a single game at eighth-ranked UMass (19-11-2, 12-8-2 HEA) this Thursday (Mar. 5). The puck is scheduled to drop at 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center.

NORTHFIELD –– The Norwich University men’s ice hockey team recorded its eighth straight shutout victory with a 5-0 win over No. 7 seed Univ. of Southern Maine in the New England Hockey Conference (NEHC) Semifinals on Saturday night at Kreitzberg Arena.

Senior goalie Tom Aubrun (Chamonix, France) stopped all 17 shots he faced to pick up his eighth straight shutout, 12th of the season and also extend his consecutive shutout minutes streak to 512:31, which is a record for all NCAA levels.

Senior forward Christian Thompson (Windham, N.H.) and freshman forward Braedyn Aubin (Woodstock, Ontario) each had a goal and an assist to lead the Cadets’ offense in the victory. Sophomore defenseman Gabriel Chicoine (St. Dominique, Quebec) notched two assists to extend his point streak to seven straight games. Junior forward Felix Brassard (St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec) added two assists as well.

Norwich stretched its unbeaten streak to 17 straight games with the victory and will now face No. 3 seed and No. 5 nationally-ranked Hobart College for the third straight year in the NEHC Championship game. Hobart defeated New England College 4-2. Norwich won last year’s NEHC title game 2-1, while the Statesmen took the 2018 title game 3-0 in Kreitzberg Arena.

After a tight-checking and even first 15 minutes, Norwich (23-2-2) opened the scoring with a power play goal from junior forward Coby Downs (Montclair, Calif.) to take a lead that it would never relinquish.

Downs sent a wrist shot through traffic that bounced off a body in front and into the back of the net for his 10th goal of the season. Chicoine and Brassard picked up assists on the goal.

Aubin scored with 30 seconds left in the opening period, beating USM goalie Paul Leger with wrist shot from the left wing off assists from Thompson and Noah Williams (Cortland, N.Y.).

Thompson increased the lead to 3-0 with his third goal of the season off assists from Aubin and Matt Burchill (Marshfield, Mass.).

Hall scored for the fifth straight game off assists from Chicoine and Burchill at the 2:40 mark of the third period to stretch the lead to 4-0.

Philip Elgstam (Stockholm, Sweden) capped the scoring with a power play goal, shoveling in a rebound off the end boards glass after Ryan Boucher’s (Fitchburg, Mass.) attempt sailed high and wide. Brassard picked up the secondary assist.

Norwich outshot Southern Maine 41-17 in the game. Leger made 36 saves in his final collegiate start for the Huskies.

Norwich will be looking to win its 14th NEHC Tournament title next Saturday, while Hobart will be looking for its second since joining the league for the 2017-18 season.

SOUTH BURLINGTON — Stonehill College men’s ice hockey senior Ryan Meade scored 2:44 into overtime as second-seeded Saint Michael’s College lost to the No. 3 Skyhawks, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon during a Northeast-10 Conference Championship semifinal in Cairns Arena.

· Saint Michael’s (15-9-3), Stonehill (12-11-5)

· Junior Sel Narby (Huntington, N.Y./Connecticut Junior Rangers), 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 blocks
· Junior Noah Muller (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Düsseldorfer EG), 2 assists
· Junior Thomas Flack (Toronto, Ontario/Saint Michael’s Buzzers), 1 goal, 10-for-18 faceoffs
· First-year Jeremy Routh (Hamden, Conn./New Hampshire Junior Monarchs), 1 goal
· Junior Ethan Hendrickson (Budd Lake, N.J./New Jersey Rockets), 3 blocks
· Senior Tim Decker (Liverpool, N.Y./Canterbury School), 28 saves
· Junior Niall Foster (Newmarket, N.H./Walpole Express), 14-for-20 faceoffs
· First-year Matt Schreiner (Falmouth, Mass./Walpole Express), 8-for-12 faceoffs
· Senior William Santangeli (Oakville, Ontario/Saint Mark’s School), 4-for-7 faceoffs

· Senior Nicholas Godin, 1 goal
· Senior Ryan Meade, 1 goal
· Senior Jack Scannell, 1 goal
· First-year Brendan Nehmer, 1 goal
· Senior Matthew Schoen, 34 saves

· The Purple Knights held a 37-32 edge in shots while going 38-for-59 on faceoffs.
· Saint Michael’s faced the same team for three straight games for the first time in program history, having gone 1-0-1 against Stonehill last weekend. The Skyhawks went 2-1-1 in the season series, with each game decided by two goals or fewer.
· The teams met in the NE10 Championship semifinals for the third time in seven years, with Saint Michael’s now 5-1 all-time in the postseason series, with five meetings one goal-affairs.
· The Purple Knights had a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1), the longest in the NE10, come to an end against a Stonehill squad that is 6-1-3 in its last 10 games with conference foes.
· Saint Michael’s lost only its second NE10 semifinal in 10 tries at Cairns Arena.
· The Purple and Gold finished 4-2-3 in overtime games this season, setting a program record by playing nine overtime contests.
· Narby, the NE10 Defensive Player of the Year, finished the season with 19 assists, the most by a Purple Knight since AJ Pieprzak ’15 had 20 in 2014-15, and the most by a Saint Michael’s defender since Matt Rigtrup ’11 notched 21 in 2009-10. Narby netted his seventh power-play goal on Saturday, as Eric Salzillo ’18 in 2016-17 had been the most recent Purple Knight with that figure. The last defender with seven power-play strikes had been Tim Geverd ’10 in 2009-10.
· An all-conference goalie as a senior, Decker will graduate with the top three season goals-against averages in program history, with his 2.81 this year good for third all-time. His .914 save percentage is also good for third in a season. As far as career numbers go, Decker ends up first at Saint Michael’s in GAA (2.62) and save percentage (.914), tied for first in shutouts (4), tied for third in wins (27), seventh in minutes (3,064:16) and eighth in saves (1,425).

· The Purple Knights held a 17-3 advantage in shots during a scoreless opening period, but Decker made the first big stop, denying sophomore Charles Page’s bid from the left circle with his right shoulder just 57 seconds in.
· Sophomore defender Colin O’Connor’s (North Haven, Conn./Connecticut RoughRiders) one-timer from the left circle was the initial shot for the hosts, but Schoen, the NE10 Goalie of the Year, made the stop at 3:30, and senior Zachary Frament nearly broke the deadlock at 5:11 but rung the crossbar.
· Sophomore Matt Egan (Hingham, Mass./Kimball Union Academy) ripped a one-timer at 7:00 that was stopped, and classmate Andrew DeCristoforo’s (Medway, Mass./South Shore Kings) tip-in soon thereafter was also saved.
· During a Stonehill power play, Decker turned in time to repel senior Cameron Wright’s point-blank one-timer at the right post with 11:14 gone before stopping sophomore Mike Seoane’s redirection out front during a 2-on-1 rush at 12:10 during a 4-on-4 situation.
· Foster tipped a teammate’s blast off of Schoen’s helmet at 14:00, and Saint Michael’s had two shots a couple minutes later, with Schreiner blocked by a Skyhawk skater at the left post around 15:40 before being denied at the right post on the rebound.
· Narby drove a slap shot on net during a power play at 17:00 that Schoen saved, and the rebound popped into space near the right post, but no Purple Knight could knock it into the vacated net with the netminder prone.
· Both teams found the net twice in the second period, with Decker keeping the game scoreless early on. After a pair of Skyhawk shots were blocked by skaters, Decker denied Scannell’s tip-in attempt and stopped senior Colin Quinn’s shot with his shoulder at 1:23. Classmate Jack Hall had a point-blank bid stopped 33 seconds later.
· The Purple Knights broke through at 4:12, as Routh sent the puck across the crease, off of Schoen’s leg pad and in.
· Nehmer knotted the game just 2:05 later, taking first-year Teddy McElaney’s pass in the low right circle and roofing a backhanded shot.
· Schreiner rung the crossbar at 11:14 before Scannell gave the Skyhawks a 2-1 lead 45 seconds after that, one-timing home Quinn’s one-time pass from the low left circle.
· With Saint Michael’s nearing the end of a 5-on-3 power play, Narby picked the upper left corner of the net to tie the teams at 18:48.
· Godin gave Stonehill the lead back 3:39 into the third period, roofing a shot from up close near the right post after a quick touch from junior Kayser Raei.
· Saint Michael’s found the equalizer during a power play 1:42 later, as Muller had a shot from the right circle saved, but Flack sent the rebound home from the low left circle.
· Decker kept the teams tied with a point-blank stop of Meade at 6:10, and Stonehill earned a five-minute major at 11:43. During the man advantage, Decker denied Nehmer front out front at 13:15 and made a blocker save of Wright with 16:22 gone. With the teams now at even strength, Decker turned away Nehmer’s tip-in attempt at 17:45, and the teams headed to overtime.
· During an odd-man rush early in the extra session, Schreiner rung the crossbar 50 seconds in, and junior Paul McAuliffe (Newton, Mass./Kimball Union Academy) saw a redirection stopped at 1:58.
· Stonehill netted its overtime goal in somewhat controversial fashion with 2:44 gone. After Hall sent a pass untouched through the slot, a teammate made contact with Decker while sliding through the crease under pressure from a Purple Knight. With the net now partially vacated and the netminder out of position, Meade sent the rebound into the net. Following a couple minutes of deliberation, the officials deemed it a good goal.

MIDDLEBURY — Fourth-seeded Middlebury was downed 4-2 by fifth-seeded Wesleyan in a NESCAC Quarterfinal game on Saturday afternoon in Kenyon Arena. With the loss, Middlebury wraps up the year with a 10-12-3 overall record, while the Cardinals advance to the semifinals, where they take on host and top-seed Williams on March 2.

Wesleyan’s Tyler Kobryn had a great chance to open the scoring with 5:51 expired, but his shot hit the right pipe and ricocheted away. Neither team was able to muster up a quality opportunity until the final two minutes of the period. Middlebury’s Conor Breen had a great chance at the 18:40 mark, but Cardinal netminder Tim Sestak barely got his stick on the puck to deny the opportunity. Wesleyan broke through with just 48 seconds remaining in the opening period on a power play. An initial shot by Spencer Fox was thwarted by Panther goaltender Brian Ketchabaw, but Cam Peritz was there to tuck the rebound under the crossbar for the 1-0 edge heading into the intermission.

Middlebury tallied the equalizer just 1:55 into the second stanza. EMack Bentley stole the puck in transition, before Zach Shapiro redirected a pass from Bentley on the doorstep to make it 1-1. After the goal, the Panthers looked to take the lead with back-to-back power play opportunities, but a strong Wesleyan defense killed off both. With 40 seconds remaining in the middle frame, Middlebury’s Paddy Mangan sent a pass across to Brendan Dawson, before his slap shot from just inside the blue line gave the Panthers a 2-1 edge.

Wesleyan knotted the game 2-2 with 2:01 elapsed in the final session. Liam Donelan took a shot from just inside the blue line, before Jordan Rose tipped it in. Later, Quincy Gregg worked the puck around the back of the net and fed Hunter Vannier a pass on the doorstep. Vannier’s one-timer gave the Cardinals the 3-2 advantage at the 7:21 mark. Middlebury looked to tie with 12:07 expired, but Owen Powers’ shot from point-blank was denied by Sestak. Wesleyan solidified the victory with a power play tally at the 17:59 mark. An initial shot by Fox was thwarted by Ketchabaw, but Emmet Powell one-timed the rebound for the 4-2 final.

Middlebury’s Ketchabaw stopped 17 shots during 58:46, while Sestak earned the win with 21 saves. The Panthers heled a 23-21 edge in shots, while Wesleyan was 2-for-3 on power plays.

This was the second-straight year the teams met in the quarterfinals, as the teams are now tied 2-2 in the NESCAC Championship series. The teams split the regular-season series, with the Cardinals (13-11-1) posting a 3-1 win in Vermont on January 11 and the Panthers earning a 4-1 win at Wesleyan on February 8.