Men’s Hockey: Kaufman Lifts Vermont Over Dartmouth 2-1

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

HANOVER, N.H. – Rookie Max Kaufman deflected a pass from Craig Puffer inside the left post just 20 seconds into overtime on Saturday night, lifting Vermont to a 2-1 victory over former ECAC rival Dartmouth at Thompson Arena.

UVM snaps its four-game losing streak and improves to 4-9-1 (1-5-1 HEA) while extending its winning streak in the series to four. The Big Green falls to 2-5-0 (2-3-0 ECAC) with its first home loss of the season.

“I like the way we played in the third period in terms of being tied and playing for the win,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “We carried the momentum into overtime. We always say ‘play to win’ in overtime and we certainly did.”

Dartmouth carried the play early and took the lead on its second power play chance at 7:39 of the first period. Corey Kalk’s left-wing drive was saved by Stefanos Lekkas (22 saves), but Alex Jasiek quickly buried the rebound from the top of the crease.

Vermont answered early in the second period on an individual effort from Alex Esposito, who scored for the third consecutive game. The freshman reeled in a pass from Derek Lodermeier and gained the Big Green zone against a pair of defenders. Esposito used one of the defensemen as a screen and ripped a wrist shot into the upper right corner.

Both teams had quality chances to win the game in the final minutes of regulation, but the non-conference contest required overtime.

In the opening seconds of the extra session, Puffer gained the offensive zone with a step on a Dartmouth defenseman down the right wing. The junior threw the puck into the low slot, and Kaufman was there for a deflection to the far post to beat Adrian Clark (37 saves). Jarrid Priviteraalso collected an assist on the game-winner for his team-leading sixth of the year.

The Catamounts’ last four goals have all been scored by freshmen. UVM out-shot Dartmouth 39-23 on the night, including a 18-7 edge in the third period.

Vermont travels to Orono next weekend for its final Hockey East series of the first half. The Catamounts face the Maine Black Bears on Friday (Dec. 1) at 7 p.m. and Saturday (Dec. 2) at 5 p.m. at Alfond Arena.