Men’s Hockey: UVM Comeback Effort Falls Short in 4-3 Loss to Nebraska Omaha

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON – 20th-ranked Vermont stormed back in the third period against No. 3 Nebraska Omaha on Friday night in the home opener but came up short and dropped a 4-3 decision to the Mavericks at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts even their record at 1-1-0 (0-0-0 HEA), while UNO improves to 3-0-0 (0-0-0 NCHC).

Frederick Olofsson struck twice in the first 10 minutes to give Omaha a 2-0 lead. The rookie stuffed home a rebound at the left post at the 7:17 mark of the first period to open the scoring. Olofsson then finished a one-timer on the power play two minutes later off a cross-zone pass from Tyler Vesel.

Vermont responded midway through the middle frame on its second power play opportunity. Liam Coughlin tipped a pass to Jarrid Privitera in the slot, and the sophomore buried his own rebound inside the left post to cut the Mavericks’ lead in half. Brian Bowen picked up his first career point with an assist on the play.

Austin Ortega provided a quick answer for Omaha, scoring twice in the span of 2:08 to give the Mavericks a 4-1 cushion. Ortega finished a low first-time shot inside the left post at the 10:31 mark of the second, then deflected a Jake Guentzel feed into the roof of the net at 12:39.

UNO had a power play to potentially put the game out of reach later in the frame, but UVM scored shorthanded to cut the lead back to two. Mario Puskarich fed Tom Forgione in the right circle on a 2-on-1, and the junior ripped a one-timer glove side on Kirk Thompson for his first goal of the season.

Forgione was the catalyst five minutes into the third as he hit Anthony Petruzzelli in stride into the left wing circle. Petruzzelli fired a shot from outside the faceoff dot and beat Thompson top shelf short side over his right shoulder. Rob Hamilton picked up his second assist of the game on the play.

Vermont nearly tied the score on a 5-on-3 power play for 27 seconds, but Luc Snuggerud blocked an Alexx Privitera effort on a cross-zone one-timer. UVM pulled Mike Santaguida with 1:35 remaining, and Thompson made a glove save on a deflected Privitera point shot with 53 seconds left in regulation.

The Catamounts out-shot the Mavericks 29-25, including a 26-16 edge in the final 40 minutes. Santaguida finished the night with 21 saves, while Thompson stopped 26 shots for the win.

The teams return to Gutterson on Saturday (Oct. 17) for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop to complete the series. All the action will be streamed for free in high definition on an broadcast on WVMT 620-AM and with Alastair Ingram and Aaron Miller ’93 on the call.

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