Men’s Hockey: Catamounts Shutout Wolverines 3-0

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON — Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week Stefanos Lekkas stopped all 21 shots he faced for his first career shutout, complimenting goals from Tom Forgione, Matt Alvaro, and Rob Hamilton in a convincing 3-0 UVM victory over No. 11 Michigan on Friday night at a sold out Gutterson Fieldhouse.

The Catamounts improved to 3-1-1 with their second straight win over a ranked team, while the Wolverines dropped to 3-1-2. UVM finished with a commanding 42-21 edge in shots on goal in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

“I was very impressed with our performance tonight,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “We got off to a great start. We’ve had a couple of rough starts where we’ve gone down by two so that was an emphasis that we had, let’s make sure we’re playing on our toes from the opening faceoff.”

The Catamounts jumped out to a quick start and took a 1-0 lead just 22 seconds into the game. Forgione collected the puck in the low slot off a Michigan turnover and fired a wrist shot that beat Hayden Lavigne (39 saves) high blocker side. The puck hit the crossbar and bounced down over the goal line as Derek Lodermeier and Ori Abramson collected the assists on the opening goal.

Michigan grabbed back the momentum momentarily on its first power play of the game. The Wolverines’ best chance came on a one-time slap shot from co-captain Alex Kile, but Lekkas dove to his left and made a spectacular glove save to preserve the lead. The freshman extended his shutout streak beyond 120 consecutive minutes with the shutout on Friday.

The Cats struck again midway through the period. Ross Colton created a rush along the left wing, and Kevin Irwin cut into the zone before dropping a backhanded pass to Alvaro. The freshman fought off a Michigan defender with a toe drag and wristed a low shot through Lavigne’s five-hole for his first collegiate goal. Alvaro became the 13th different player to score a goal in the team’s first five games.

Vermont finished the first period with a 2-0 cushion and a 16-8 advantage in shots.

UM opened the second frame with the first six shots on goal, but again Lekkas was there to shut the door. Vermont limited Michigan on two power plays in the second period and held the Wolverines to just one shot on goal in the second half of the frame. Vermont’s best opportunity came at the end of the period when Abramson fired a rebound from the left slot off the near post.

UVM extended its lead to three at 8:21 of the final period on the power play. Brady Shaw tried to stuff a puck at the left post as he cut above the goal line, and it deflected out to the left point for Hamilton. With Brian Bowen providing a screen at the edge of the crease, the senior defenseman fired a shot which slipped under Lavigne’s pads for his second of the year.

Vermont hits the road for its Hockey East opener on Sunday (Oct. 30) against reigning league champion No. 16 Northeastern at 3 p.m. Live video is available in HD via, and pre-game audio coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. on WVMT 620-AM and Sports Juice with Alastair Ingram and Andy Merritt on the call from Matthews Arena.