#14 Men’s Hockey Sweeps #7 BC

The last time the University of Vermont Men’s Ice Hockey team defeated Boston College, George Foreman was the heavyweight champion of the world and Weezer had just released their debut album. A lot has changed since 1994, as evidenced by the Cats’ recent weekend sweep of the #7 Eagles.In front of the 50th and 51st consecutive sellout crowds at Gutterson Fieldhouse, the Cats shocked the perennial Hockey East superpower Eagles from Boston College with a pair of heart-stopping upsets.With Friday’s controversial 3-2 nail-biting win and Saturday’s complete 4-2 victory, the Cats improved their overall season record to 14-8-2 (9-4-2 Hockey East) and reasserted themselves as a serious playoff contender.In Friday’s opener, BC jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead, scoring just 63 seconds into the contest. However, the Cats evened the score with just under a minute remaining in the first period. On the power play, sophomore Corey Carlson one-timed a beautiful cross-ice feed from senior Ryan Gunderson past Eagle netminder Cory Schneider. Carlson, taking a slick pass from sophomore Peter Lenes, capitalized on another Eagle penalty at 8:45 of the second to take a 2-1 lead.The Cats struck again before the conclusion of the second period. Playing four on four, freshman Brayden Irwin won a key faceoff back to junior assistant captain Mark Lutz, who set up junior co-captain Torrey Mitchell’s ninth goal of the year for a 3-1 lead.Taking advantage of a four on three power play early in the third, BC clawed back to pull within one at 3-2.Controversy erupted with nearly four minutes left when BC freshman Matt Lombardi appeared to tie the score.However, referee Scott Hansen disallowed the goal, ruling that Lombardi batted the puck in with a high stick. Fallon made the 3-2 score stick, finishing with 25 saves in a game riddled with 55 minutes of penalties.”To gut out a one goal game against these guys is something the team should feel really proud of,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said.On Saturday, the Cats took an early 1-0 lead when Irwin deflected a Gunderson slapper from the point for his third tally on the season at 5:35 of the first. With just 23 second left in the opening stanza, Mitchell doubled the lead for UVM on a breakaway goal. Set up by an ankle-breaking combination of Gordon Bombay dekes, Mitchell undressed the BC netminder’s glove side for his 10th strike of the year.At 6:53 of the second, Irwin gave the Cats a seemingly commanding 3-0 lead. However, BC’s Ben Smith quickly answered back, putting the Eagles on the board at 7:51 of the second and cutting the deficit to 3-1.Nearly 20 seconds into the third, BC struck again as sophomore Brock Bradford’s backhand off a rebound escaped Fallon to make it 3-2. Luckily for the raucous, yellow t-shirt clad Catamount crowd, Fallon would not be beat again, finishing with 27 saves.A Victor Stalberg empty-net-goal with just three seconds left iced the contest for the Cats.”This was a total team effort tonight and certainly all weekend,” Sneddon said. “Our fans were phenomenal this weekend and certainly gave us that lift when we needed it.”