Men’s Hockey: Providence Ends UVM Streak, Earns Weekend Split with 4-1 Win Over Cats

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Providence scored four unanswered goals, including three in the third period, to skate past the 12th-ranked Catamounts 4-1 and end Vermont’s five-game winning streak at Schneider Arena on Saturday night.

The Catamounts dropped to 15-7-2 (7-4-1 HEA) with their first loss since Dec. 18 as the teams split the Hockey East series. The Friars picked up their second league win and improved to 10-8-4 (2-6-2 HEA).

After a scoreless first period, Providence stormed out in the second and posted the first nine shots, but a high sticking penalty on Shane Kavanagh sent UVM to its second power play of the night at 5:32.

The Friars were unable to clear a bouncing puck along the right wing boards, and Mario Puskarichripped a snap shot off the cross bar over the shoulder of Hayden Hawkey (25 saves) from the right wing. The goal came with just four seconds remaining in the man advantage for the senior’s seventh of the year as Ross Colton collected the assist.

PC had the answer at the 13:42 mark of the frame when Josh Wilkins deked into the slot and unloaded a drive that beat Stefanos Lekkas (33 saves) glove side for his team-high ninth of the year. Erik Foley had the lone assist and the teams went into the second intermission tied 1-1.

The teams took matching penalties 1:20 into the final frame and Providence cashed in for the eventual game-winner during the 4-on-4. Lekkas denied Josh Wilkins on a wraparound from the right doorstep, but the puck deflected off Erik Foley’s skate and trickled over the goal line as the Friars took their first lead of the weekend.

Just 1:12 later, Vimal Sukumaran deflected a shot from Brandon Duhaime under the pads of Lekkas after a faceoff win in the right circle for a 3-1 cushion.

UVM called its timeout and pulled Lekkas for an extra skater with 2:11 remaining in regulation, but Brian Pinho sealed the PC victory with an empty-netter at 18:44.

The Cats went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and closed the series 10-for-10. Colton finished with a three-point weekend.

Vermont returns to Burlington next Friday (Jan. 20) to host the UConn Huskies in Hockey East action at 6:05 p.m. at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Xfinity is the presenting sponsor of the game with thunder sticks for the first 500 students. For tickets, log on to or call 802-656-4410.

The game will be televised live on NESNplus as part of an American Sports Network (ASN) production. P