Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON –– Stefanos Lekkas stopped all 31 shots faced to record his second consecutive shutout and earn tournament MVP honors as the Vermont Catamounts took a 2-0 win over Lake Superior State to win the 2019 Catamount Cup.
Vermont improves to 3-11-2 (0-8-1 HEA) while Lake Superior falls to 6-17-1 (4-9-1 WCHA).
“The energy in our locker room right now is something that we haven’t really experienced this year, so, I’m very happy for our guys first and foremost,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “Everybody contributed to the Catamount Cup win from the net out. It was different guys at different times; both nights we had huge blocked shots at a critical time that then lead to an empty-net goal to seal the win.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The top line of Bouquot, Cowans, and Dzhioshvili put Vermont ahead 1-0 at 18:30 of the first period. Dzhioshvili found Bouquot on the low left circle who fired a pass across the top of the crease to Cowans for the backdoor tap-in.
A scoreless second period ended with the Catamounts holding an 11-8 advantage in shots. Both Vermont and Lake Superior went 0-for-2 on power play chances in the middle frame.
Lekkas stood tall throughout the game, making several high-end saves through heavy traffic in front of the net.
Thomas Beretta sealed the win and 2019 Catamount Cup with an empty-net goal with 2.2 seconds to play in the third period. Matt Alvaro blocked a point shot from Lake Superior and chipped the puck to Beretta in the neutral zone for the goal.
Beretta netted his first goal in Green & Gold to secure the victory.
Cowans found the back of the net for the second straight game and pushed his point streak to six games. The junior has eight points during the streak.
Vermont claims the Catamount Cup for the second straight year and eighth time under Sneddon.
Providence and Union skated to a 1-1 tie in the third game of the tournament earlier Sunday.
Cowans, Dzhioshvili, and Lekkas earned spots on the 2019 Catamount Cup All-Tournament team. Lekkas was named tournament MVP for his back-to-back shutouts.
With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate $100 to Make-A-Wish Vermont, bringing this year’s total to 110 wins and $11,000.
Vermont returns to Hockey East conference play with a trip to No. 4/5 Boston College (11-4-0, 5-2-0 HEA) for a single game on Saturday (Jan. 4). The game is slated to begin at 4:30 p.m. and will air on NESN.