Men’s Hockey: Irish Complete Weekend Sweep, Topping Vermont 3-1

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON – 10th-ranked Notre Dame held off a late Vermont charge and posted a 3-1 victory on Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse to sweep a Hockey East weekend series. The Catamounts dropped to 11-16-2 (5-9-2 HEA), while the Fighting Irish improved to 16-5-7 (11-2-2 HEA) and moved into a tie for first place in the league.

Notre Dame goalie Cal Peterson stopped 38 shots to pick up his 16th win of the year. Vermont out-shot Notre Dame 39-27 and held the Irish scoreless on three power play opportunities. UVM finished the night 0-for-3 on the power play.

“Their goaltender played sensational tonight. We had so many scoring opportunities all night,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “We had great buzz in the second and halfway through the third. He made some key saves for them. We just have trouble putting the puck in the net unfortunately but a lot of it was due to his performance tonight.”

Notre Dame struck first at the 4:39 mark of the first period just three seconds into a 4-on-4 situation. Connor Hurley won a clean faceoff to the point for defenseman Jordan Gross, who stepped into a drive from the high slot and beat Packy Munson (24 saves) high glove side to open the scoring.

The Catamounts killed off two Notre Dame power plays in the middle frame and nearly tied the game late in the period. Liam Coughlin was denied twice on the power play by Cal Peterson (38 saves), and Dennis Gilbert made a diving block on Brendan Bradley during a 2-on-1 rush.

UVM held a 13-7 shot advantage in the second but entered the third period down a goal.

Midway through the third, the Fighting Irish added an insurance goal as Gross fired a shot from the left point. Jake Evans was waiting at the right doorstep to tip the puck inside the far post to give Notre Dame a 2-0 cushion.

Vermont answered within three and a half minutes when Alexx Privitera collected the puck at the right point. The senior wristed a shot toward goal, and Anthony Petruzzelli tipped it through Peterson’s five-hole. Travis Blanleil picked up the second assist on the play.

UVM earned a 5-on-3 power play for 34 seconds later in the frame and called its timeout, but couldn’t pull even. Peterson made a sprawling save at the left post to keep the Irish ahead by a single goal.

Vermont pulled Munson with just under two minutes remaining, and Sam Herr sealed the win for Notre Dame with an empty-netter from the top of the left circle.

The Catamounts travel to Durham to face New Hampshire in a two-game league series on Friday (Feb. 12) at 7 p.m. and Saturday (Feb. 13) at 5 p.m. Pre-game radio coverage from the Whittemore Center begins 30 minutes prior to faceoff each night on WVMT 620-AM,, and the TuneIn app with Alastair Ingram and Andy Merritt on the call. Live video is available throughout the series at UNHwildcats.TV.

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