Men’s Hockey: Vermont Falls 4-1 to Northeastern

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON – The UVM Catamounts jumped out to a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes, but a three-goal second period powered No. 12 Northeastern to a 4-1 victory on Senior Night at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Adam Gaudette recorded two goals and an assist for NU, while Matt O’Donnell scored the lone goal for Vermont.

Stefanos Lekkas stopped 22 shots in the loss that saw UVM drop to 9-17-6 (6-11-5 HEA). Cayden Primeau tallied 29 saves in the win for the Huskies, who improve to 19-8-5 (13-6-3) with the weekend sweep.

Prior to the game, the program honored the six members of the Class of 2018: Drew Best (graduating early), Travis Blanleil, Rob Darrar, Anthony Petruzzelli, Trey Phillips, and Jarrid Privitera. The class has combined for 66 wins in their careers with nearly 600 games played.

Despite the loss, UVM remains eighth in the Hockey East standings with two games left in the regular season, a position which would give the Catamounts home ice in the first round. Vermont leads UMass by one point and New Hampshire by two points heading into the final weekend.

The hosts opened the scoring on O’Donnell’s seventh marker of the season with 5:42 left in the first period. Seniors Petruzzelli and Darrar both had attempts at the edge of the crease, and the puck kicked out to O’Donnell in the slot. O’Donnell collected the puck and spun around to wire a wrist shot over the blocker of Primeau through traffic.

The Huskies found the equalizer early in the second period when Eric Williams scored with an extra attacker on the ice during a delayed penalty. Gaudette delivered a pass to Williams sneaking in from the point, and the defenseman quickly fired a shot through the pads of Lekkas at 4:15 of the second period. Dylan Sikura was credited with the secondary assist on the goal.

Bryce Misley almost registered his first collegiate goal shortly after when he tried to bury a rebound from a Privitera shot, but was denied by the Huskies’ rookie netminder.

Northeastern eventually took its first lead 2:13 after their initial goal when Biagio Lerario one-timed a shot past Lekkas for his second of the season. Grant Jozefek pick-pocketed a Catamounts’ defender and dished the puck to Brandon Hawkins, who found Lerario in the low slot for the go-ahead marker.

Gaudette later tallied his nation-leading 26th goal and 50th point just past the midway point of the game. Garrett Cecere fanned on a slap shot from the point, but Sikura tipped a pass into the high slot for Gaudette, who rifled a quick shot under Lekkas’ glove.

Vermont earned several power play opportunities in the third period and nearly tied it up with 10:56 in regulation when Ross Colton threaded a shot-pass to Darrar at the left post, but Primeau slid across for a blocker stop.

UVM used its timeout with 2:38 left in regulation and pulled Lekkas to bring on the extra attacker, but Gaudette sealed the win with an empty-netter at 19:36.

The Catamounts returns to action next weekend as they travel south to take on Boston University to close the regular season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 23) and 7 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 24) at Agganis Arena.