The Vermont Cynic

Mens Hockey Split Weekend Back-to-Back with Massachusetts

Over the weekend the Catamounts took on the UMass Amherst Minutemen in a back-to-back at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The teams split the series, each winning by a score of 3-2. But Friday and Saturday were vastly different games.

On Friday night, after Vermont climbed back from a 0-2 hole, UMass scored on a power play goal five-and-a-half minutes into the third period that ultimately made the difference. Massachusetts got their first goal in the closing moment of the first period, 15 seconds left to be exact. Vermont struggled early to get into their offense and were unable to create second shot opportunities through one period. UMass added their second on a power play goal at 6:23, beating first-year goalie Brody Hoffmans blocker.

The Cats were able to immediately recover, scoring on sophomore forward Kyle Reynolds with an unassisted wrist shot high glove side. Any momentum built by the UMass power play goal was killed and both teams became physical trying to get an edge.

Late in the second period Vermont was able to even the score with a diving one-timer from outside the left circle by junior Connor Brickley off a pass from sophomore Jacob Fallon. With the game tied, both teams continued the aggressive play into the third and final period.

Massachusetts was able to get the game-winner on their fifth power play of the night. UMass cycled the puck well for the entire game and this time was able to beat Hoffman low, just slipping the puck under his pads. Vermont had a final opportunity to finish the game on a power play after a Minuteman penalty with 1:24 to go. The Cats pulled Hoffman, putting six men on the attack, but were unable to get past UMass goalie Steve Mastalerz.

Saturdays game began on a different note. Reynolds scored just 3:23 into the game, assisted by juniors Nick Bruneteau and Matt White. Vermont scored heir second goal later in the period when junior team captain H.T. Lenz took a slap shot that ricocheted off of Mastalerz and Reynolds adding to their lead.

The Cats went into the first intermission in the lead. They padded on a power play goal by Fallon off of a pass from first-year Robert Polesello with just less than five-and-a-half minutes left in the second. UMass was able to get one back before the end of the second.

To open the third, Vermont was forced to kill four power plays and remained in control. Massachusetts, after calling a time out, was able to net another goal after pulling their goalie for an extra attacker. Hoffman made several key saves with under a minute left to secure the win.

Our penalty kill was excellent tonight and (Hoffman) played well all game but really played well at the end to preserve the win, said head coachKevin Sneddon. They gave us everything we could handle literally right to the last shot. Probably the best word to describe our play tonight was relentless. It was a total team win but some guys stepped up for us tonight.

After the weekend series, Vermont moves to 7-13-4 on the season, 4-9-4 in Hockey East play. The Minutemen drop to 9-12-2, 6-9-1 in Hockey East. The win on Saturday broke a five-game losing streak for Vermont.

Next up, Vermont travels to Chestnut Hill, MA to take on the Boston College Eagles at Conte Forum on Friday Feb.1st.

Men’s Hockey Split Weekend Back-to-Back with Massachusetts

? Over the weekend the Catamounts took on the UMass Amherst Minutemen in a back-to-back at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The teams split the series, each winning by a score of 3-2. But Friday and Saturday were vastly different games. On Friday night, after Vermont climbed back from a 0-2 hole, UMass scored on a power play goal five-and-a-half minutes into the third period that ultimately made the difference. Massachusetts got their first goal in the closing moment of the first period, 15 seconds left to be exact. Vermont struggled early to get into their offense and were unable to create second shot opportunities through one period. UMass added their second on a power play goal at 6:23, beating first-year goalie Brody Hoffman’s blocker. The Cats were able to immediately recover, scoring on sophomore forward Kyle Reynolds with an unassisted wrist shot high glove side. Any momentum built by the UMass power play goal was killed and both teams became physical trying to get an edge. Late in the second period Vermont was able to even the score with a diving one-timer from outside the left circle by junior Connor Brickley off a pass from sophomore Jacob Fallon. With the game tied, both teams continued the aggressive play into the third and final period. Massachusetts was able to get the game-winner on their fifth power play of the night. UMass cycled the puck well for the entire game and this time was able to beat Hoffman low, just slipping the puck under his pads. Vermont had a final opportunity to finish the game on a power play after a Minuteman penalty with 1:24 to go. The Cats pulled Hoffman, putting six men on the attack, but were unable to get past UMass goalie Steve Mastalerz. Saturday’s game began on a different note. Reynolds scored just 3:23 into the game, assisted by juniors Nick Bruneteau and Matt White. Vermont scored heir second goal later in the period when junior team captain H.T. Lenz took a slap shot that ricocheted off of Mastalerz and Reynolds adding to their lead. The Cats went into the first intermission in the lead.  They padded on a power play goal by Fallon off of a pass from first-year Robert Polesello with just less than five-and-a-half minutes left in the second. UMass was able to get one back before the end of the second. To open the third, Vermont was forced to kill four power plays and remained in control. Massachusetts, after calling a time out, was able to net another goal after pulling their goalie for an extra attacker. Hoffman made several key saves with under a minute left to secure the win. “Our penalty kill was excellent tonight and (Hoffman) played well all game but really played well at the end to preserve the win,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “They gave us everything we could handle literally right to the last shot. Probably the best word to describe our play tonight was relentless. It was a total team win but some guys stepped up for us tonight.” After the weekend series, Vermont moves to 7-13-4 on the season, 4-9-4 in Hockey East play. The Minutemen drop to 9-12-2, 6-9-1 in Hockey East. The win on Saturday broke a five-game losing streak for Vermont. Next up, Vermont travels to Chestnut Hill, MA to take on the Boston College Eagles at Conte Forum on Friday Feb.1st.  

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Mens Hockey Split Weekend Back-to-Back with Massachusetts