Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON — UMass tallied two goals in the first period and held off the Catamounts, taking a 3-1 win on a snowy Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Saturday’s game marked UVM’s third annual Green out the Gut game presented by Casella Waste Management.
“Obviously our team is frustrated and I think we’re all frustrated right now,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “You see how we played in the second and third periods and that’s the team we need to be for 60 minutes.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
John Leonard put UMass ahead 1-0 just 1:37 into the game, scoring on a breakaway as Cory Thomas hooked the junior from behind.
Jake McLaughlin doubled the UMass lead at 12:54 of the frame with an off-angle shot that beat Stefanos Lekkas (36 saves).
Max Kaufman blocked a shot and came down on a breakaway late in the first period. UMass defenseman Ty Farmer hooked Kaufman, and he was awarded a penalty shot, however Filip Lindberg (34 saves) kept the puck out of the net to preserve the two-goal lead.
The Catamounts pressed early and often in the second period, but hit a pair of posts in the first four minutes of the middle frame. However, Lindberg kept the Minutemen ahead, stopping all 12 shots faced in the period.
Matt Alvaro cut the lead to one at 9:17 of the third period. The senior banged a rebound past Lindberg from the bottom of the right circle off an initial shot from Christian Evers.
Matthew Kessel put UMass ahead 3-1 at 17:22 of the third, blasting a rebound on the power play over the shoulder of Lekkas. A lengthy video review confirmed there was no goaltender interference. A second review confirmed UMass entered the zone onside.
Stefanos Lekkas recorded his 3,500th career save on his first of the night. He is now 415 saves behind Tim Thomas ’97 (3,950) for the program record.
Vermont hits the road for a Hockey East weekend series at Merrimack (5-16-2, 3-8-2 HEA) next Friday (Jan. 24) and Saturday (Jan. 25). Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. at Lawler Rink.