Cats fall short against River Hawks in winner take all game

A weekend series placed Vermont in a winner-take-all game three against the No. 8 ranked UMass Lowell River Hawks in Lowell, Mass. last weekend.

Despite junior goalie Brody Hoffman making 83 saves during the three game set, the Catamounts were not able to fly with the River Hawks as they lost 2-1 in the deciding match March 16.

The weekend series opened up as the River Hawks took game one with a 3-2 victory off a late goal from first-year Evan Campbell.

The Catamounts fired back in game two and were on the other side of the 3-2 score thanks to an overtime goal by first-year Mario Puskarich.

During the decisive quarterfinal matchup, UVM was given an early advantage as Lowell was called for two penalties midway through the first period.

UVM was unable to capitalize on their power plays and instead suffered a shorthanded goal off a shot by Lowell’s sophomore defenseman Christian Folin.

Late in the first period, sophomore forward Jonathan Turk was called for tripping and gave the River Hawks a two-minute man advantage.

Lowell was able to get the puck passed Hoffman again and extended their lead from an unassisted goal by sophomore forward A.J. White.

The Catamounts pressured UMass’s goalie Connor Hellebuyck with 18 more shots through the second and third period. UVM was only able to connect for a goal with just two minutes left in the second period.

Junior forward Jake Fallon scored off a rebound from a hard wrist shot by senior defenseman Nick Bruneteau, cutting the River Hawk’s lead to one.

Despite a close one timer by senior captain Chris McCarthy, and pulling Hoffman for an extra skater during the third period, the River Hawks held on the their lead and went on to a 2-1 victory.

With the win Lowell advances to the Hockey East semifinals March 24, at the TD Garden in Boston. 12