Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON –– Stefanos Lekkas stood tall with a 26-save shutout and Ace Cowans buried the game-winning goal at 3:41 of the third period as Vermont took a 2-0 win over Union to close the first day of the 2019 Catamount Cup Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
UVM improves to 2-11-1 overall (0-8-1 HEA) and Union drops to 5-13-0 (3-5-0 ECAC).
“I thought it was a really good team effort,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “I thought we had all four lines going, seven defensemen who played well, and Stef made a couple unbelievable saves to keep them off the board, especially on their power play.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Union senior Zachary Emelifeonqu was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for a hit from behind on Cowans early in the first period. The Catamounts controlled the puck in the Union zone, but could not score on the man-advantage.
After an 8-3 UVM shot advantage in the first period, Union controlled play in the second period and outshot Vermont, 11-6. However, the Dutchmen could not beat Lekkas, who made two highlight-reel saves in the final six minutes of the frame.
Cowans darted behind the Union defense and Vlad Dzhioshvili sprung the Beverly, Massachusetts native on a breakaway early in the third period. Cowans cut to his backhand with a defender draped over him and roofed a shot over Darion Hanson for the 1-0 lead. Jacques Bouquot picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
Bouquot sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 1:25 remaining in the third period with an assist from Cowans.
Lekkas recorded his 3,353rd career save with 7:59 remaining in the third period, passing Rob Madore ’12 for second-most saves in program history. Lekkas is 590 saves behind UVM Hall-of-Famer Tim Thomas ’97 (3,950). He recorded 23 saves in the second and third periods to preserve the shutout.
The Elburn, Illinois native also matched Madore and Mike Santaguida ’17 with five career shutouts, the fifth most in UVM history,
Cowans has four points in his last two game and seven points in his last five games. Dzhioshvili has six points in his last five games. Their third linemate, Bouquot, has five points in his last five games.
Providence took a 2-1 overtime win over Lake Superior State in the first game of the 2019 Catamount Cup. Friar junior Greg Printz scored the game-winning goal at 4:39 of the extra frame for the win.
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 109 wins and $10,900.
UP NEXT | Tickets
Vermont closes the 2019 Catamount Cup tomorrow night against Lake Superior State. The tournament finale is slated to begin at 7:05 p.m., following the conclusion of the Union and Providence game at 4 p.m.