Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Stefanos Lekkas registered a career-high 41 saves, but Vermont dropped a 4-1 final on Friday night to Michigan in the opening game of a weekend series at Yost Arena. UVM falls to 2-3-0 (0-0-0 HEA), while the Wolverines improve to 2-1-0 (0-0-0 Big Ten).
“It was a tough night. We didn’t play well from the start,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “Stef played extremely well early on and we certainly didn’t give him enough help. We were outcompeted on the little things. From building a team standpoint, we’re still forming and going through a little bit of a storm right now. Hopefully it will help us grow and hopefully it won’t take long.”
The Wolverines pushed the pace in a scoreless first period, outshooting Vermont 17-5.
Rookie Josh Norris had the first quality scoring chance for Michigan, earning a penalty shot with 12:37 left in the opening frame. Norris stick-handled slowly down the slot before firing a high shot that Lekkas deflected over the net.
Will Lockwood finally broke the deadlock with five minutes left in the second period as he burst into the right side of the UVM zone. Lockwood deked to his backhand and slipped a shot under the pads of Lekkas as the puck trickled over the goal line.
Brendan Warren doubled the lead with under a minute left in the middle frame, curling into the slot and firing a wrist shot blocker side for a 2-0 cushion.
Norris netted two goals in less than two a half minutes early in the third to seal the win. The first round NHL draft pick converted a breakaway at 4:20 as he patiently snapped a shot under Lekkas’ blocker. Norris then tipped in a centering pass from fellow freshman Quinn Hughes at 6:40 for a 4-0 lead.
Ross Colton put the Catamounts on the board with nine minutes left on the power play. Colton reeled in a pass from Christian Evers, toe dragged around a defender, and snaps a low shot five-hole on Jack LaFontaine (15 saves).
The teams close the weekend series on Saturday (Oct. 21) at 5 p.m. at Yost Arena.