Men’s Hockey: Catamounts Unbeaten in Seven, Top BU 4-2

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON – Senior Tom Forgione broke a 2-2 tie with 12:29 to play and freshman Stefanos Lekkas made 20 saves for his ninth win as the 12th-ranked Catamounts knocked off No. 5 Boston University 4-2 on Friday night at sold out Gutterson Fieldhouse.

UVM’s fifth win of the season over a ranked team put the Catamounts at 10-3-2 on the season and 5-2-1 in Hockey East play, while BU dropped to 8-5-2 and 3-2-2 in league action. Vermont also pushed its unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1) with its second straight victory over a top-5 team.

The line of Forgione, Derek Lodermeier, and Anthony Petruzzelli combined for five points as UVM downed the Terriers on home ice for the first time since 2010.

“That’s what’s great about this team right now. There aren’t labels on anybody. Guys understand their roles, their strengths, they’re just playing to a certain identity,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “We’re just going to keep coming at you, pressuring, using our speed and skill and we showed it tonight.”

BU won the race to the scoreboard with a power play tally from Bobo Carpenter at the 3:17 mark of the opening period. Kieffer Bellows fired a shot from the right circle that was turned aside by Lekkas, but Carpenter corralled the puck in the left circle and buried the rebound to give BU a 1-0 advantage. Chad Krys was credited with the secondary assist on the play.

Exactly six minutes later, UVM equalized through the Lodermeier line. Forgione cycled the puck to Lodermeier behind the net and the rookie fed a pass next to the right post for Petruzzelli, who roofed a one-timer past Jake Oettinger (24 saves) for his first of the season.

Vermont struck again in the waning stages of the period to head into intermission with the lead. Skating behind the net, Brian Bowen found Chris Muscoby at the left point, where the latter dished along the blue line to Matt O’Donnell. The freshman defenseman wristed a low shot along the ice through traffic to beat Oettinger five-hole, lighting the lamp for the first time in his career.

Boston University used an additional goal on the man advantage to knot the score again early in the second. Clayton Keller fired from the high slot before the rebound came back to Patrick Harper in the right circle. Harper finished a wrister from inside the faceoff dot at 2:51 of the middle period to move the score to 2-2.

The score then swung in the Catamounts’ favor for good when Forgione pocketed his fourth goal of the season at 7:31 of the third. Jake Massiesent a shot from the blue line that was turned aside by Oettinger and followed up by Lodermeier on the doorstep. Forgione then sailed into the crease and tapped the puck home into an open net for the eventual game-winner.

The Terriers pulled Oettinger with under two minutes to play, but Ross Colton sealed the win on an empty-netter with 1:05 on the clock for his team-high seventh of the year.

Vermont and BU close the weekend series on Saturday (Dec. 10) at 7:05 p.m. with live HD video available for free via with Alastair Ingram and Jerry Tarrant on the call.

UVM will host its annual Teddy Bear Toss presented by Vermont Teddy Bear Company during the Saturday night game. Fans are encouraged to bring extra teddy bears and stuffed animals to toss onto the ice during the second intermission. The bears will be delivered by the men’s and women’s hockey teams to local organizations in need during the holiday season.