Men’s hockey splits series with Merrimack

This weekend, the Catamounts split two games with Merrimack College, bringing Vermont’s record to 17-7-4 overall with a 12-6-3 record in Hockey East competition.Friday night marked a tough loss for the Catamounts as they fell to the Warriors 3-2. Merrimack scored three goals in a matter of minutes in the second period and Vermont was never able to come back.Sophomore Dan Lawson scored a goal early in the first period and junior Viktor Stalberg scored his team-leading nineteenth goal of the season in the third, putting the Catamounts within one goal.Freshmen Karl Stollery and Ryan Flanigan both scored power-play goals for Merrimack, while Sophomore Chris Barton also scored in the second period. “I certainly want to give credit to Merrimack,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “I thought they played really hard tonight.”Saturday night gave the Cats a different result – a 4-3 win. Though Vermont got the victory, they had to come from behind to get it. The Cats were down 2-0 in the second period when senior assistant captain Peter Lenes scored two goals to tie up the game. Junior Viktor Stalberg scored next, assisted by junior Brian Roloff and sophomore Kevan Miller. Though Merrimack freshman Jeff Velleca scored to tie the game for the Warriors, Vermont senior captain Dean Strong – who had been dealing with a foot injury from the games against Providence College – scored the game-winning goal in the second period putting the Cats up 4-3.This game also marked career win number 100 for coach Kevin Sneddon.”I though Merrimack played an unbelievable weekend of hockey,” Sneddon said. “They played their hearts out.”Northeastern University and BU, Vermont’s Hockey East rivals, each had similar weekends to Vermont, both splitting a series with their respective opponents. Northeastern University was matched up against UMass. On Friday night the Huskies got a win 5-3. Saturday was a different story as Northeastern suffered a 4-1 loss.BU played two games against Maine, recording a 7-2 win on Friday night and a 2-2 tie on Saturday.Vermont returns home to Gutterson Fieldhouse next weekend to play two games against UMass Lowell in their second to last home series of the regular season.Friday, Feb. 13Vermont: 0-1-1 – 2Merrimack: 0-3-0 – 3Saturday, Feb. 14Vermont: 0-4-0 – 4Merrimack: 1-2-0 – 3