Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON – Craig Puffer netted the first two goals of his college career to lift Vermont past Colgate 4-1 on Wednesday night as the Catamounts claimed the 20th annual Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup title at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Packy Munson was named the MVP of the tournament, stopping 43 of the 44 shots he faced in a pair of victories for a .977 save percentage. The rookie registered 20 saves against Colgate to pick up his third win of the year, while Anthony Petruzzelli and Brendan Bradley also lit the lamp for Vermont.
The Catamounts improved to 7-12-2 (3-5-2 HEA), winning their third Catamount Cup in the last four years and sixth overall. The visiting Raiders fell to 5-13-1 (2-6-1 ECAC).
“I thought we were probably the more patient team and finished our chances versus their opportunities,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “We played really well defensively all weekend. It was nice to get a little offense going tonight to take some of the pressure of Packy. He had a great performance again.”
Puffer registered his first career goal unassisted at 14:45 of the first period to open the scoring. Puffer quickly entered the center of the Raiders’ zone after a Colgate clearance, deked to his left, and fired a quick snap shot under the crossbar glove side on Charlie Finn (17 saves).
Vermont limited Colgate to just three shots in the opening 20 minutes, but the Raiders came out strong in the middle frame. The visitors equalized through Mike Panowyk with less than two and half minutes elapsed as the winger deked a backhand under Munson’s pads. Brothers Tyson and Tylor Spink picked up the assists on the play.
UVM was called for its first penalty of the night late in the second, but scored shorthanded for the second straight game. Jarrid Privitera skated into the Colgate zone on a 2-on-1 with Petruzzelli, who took a backhand pass and finished five-hole for a 2-1 cushion. The goal was Petruzzelli’s sixth of the year to match the total from his freshman year.
Puffer added his second of the contest less than three minutes into the third as Rob Darrar found Conor O’Neil in the right circle. O’Neil knocked the puck down and dished a pass into the slot for Puffer, who spun to his forehand and slid a low shot inside the left post for a 3-1 Catamount advantage.
With under three minutes remaining, Bradley potted an insurance goal, curling around linemate Liam Coughlin and beating Finn blocker side from the left circle. Captain Yvan Pattyn collected the lone assist on the fourth goal for his second point of the tournament.
Puffer joined Munson as two UVM rookies were named to the Catamount Cup All-Tournament Team.
Vermont continues a six-game homestand after New Year’s on Saturday (Jan. 2) with a non-conference game against New Hampshire at 7:05 p.m. Reserved and general admission tickets are available online at UVMathletics.com/Tickets or by calling 802-656-4410.
All the action will be streamed live for free at CatamounTV.com, and radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on WVMT 620-AM, SportsJuice.com, and the TuneIn app with Alastair Ingram on the call.
UVM will host a post-game kids conference presented by the DoubleTree. Children can stick around in the Hall of Honor after the game for the chance to ask questions to players from the men’s hockey team.
CATAMOUNT CUP ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
- Packy Munson – Vermont (MVP)
- Craig Puffer – Vermont
- Tyson Spink – Colgate
- Mike Panowyk – Colgate
- Nick Lappin – Brown
- Gage Torrel – Lake Superior State