Catamounts advance to quarterfinals

The No. 7 Catamounts slid past the No. 10 UMass Amherst Minutemen 2-1 in the first round of the Hockey East men’s championship March 7.

Senior Connor Brickley finished off the pass from senior Anthony DeCenzo with no more than a minute remaining to secure the game when UVM hosted the Minutemen.

The tally broke the tie between the teams and secured the Cats a spot in the tournament quarterfinals.

Sophomore Brody Hoffman had a solid night with 18 saves.

Hoffman kept the puck out of the goal, resulting in a scoreless first period.

In the second frame, however, Hoffman wasn’t able to shut out the visitors.

After battling through a scoreless opening period, UMass took a 1-0 lead with just over two minutes into the second period.

Hoffman denied the first attempt at the goal from UMass first-year Steven Iacobellis but was not expecting UMass junior Troy Power to come in and finish the play.

The Catamounts managed to bring down the Minutemen’s momentum with a shot from junior Michael Paliotta late in the second period.

Juniors Colin Markison and Jake Fallon assisted in the goal.

The puck rushed passed UMass goalie, junior Steve Mastalerz, to tie the score at 1-1.

The teams battled but the score remained knotted for most of the third period and into the closing minutes.

With just over one minute left in regulation play, Vermont came up with Brickley’s game winning shot.

DeCenzo got the puck behind the UMass net and passed it to Brickley outside the left post.

Brickley’s shot trickled into the net, under the goalkeeper.

The Catamounts return to action in the Hockey East quarterfinals from March 14 to March 16.

The tournament is a best of three series on the road in Lowell, Mass.

UVM will face off against No. 2 UMass Lowell.

The winner will earn a spot in the Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden in Boston March 21.