Men’s hockey sweeps Maine at home

Vermont’s men’s hockey is on a four-game winning streak following their sweep of the University of Maine Black Bears in a two-game series this past weekend at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

In the first contest on Friday night, the Catamounts struck early when senior Chris McCarthy assisted junior Michael Paliotta for a power-play goal with 8:23 left in the opening period.

Paliotta’s wrist shot found its way through a screen, hitting the back of the net on Maine’s Martin Ouellette’s glove side.

The Black Bears tied the game with 2:52 into the second period on a power- play goal. Sophomore goalie Brody Hoffman originally made a left pad save, however the rebound trickled out in front of the net, from there it was hit in by Maine sophomore Devin Shore.

The Black Bears took the lead six minutes later when a shot was driven in through traffic past Hoffman. Later in the period, McCarthy passed the puck to first-year Chris Muscoby who shot intentionally wide of the net, bouncing the puck in front of the net to junior Jake Fallon who tied the game with 14:43 left in the second frame.

Vermont was able to recapture the lead when McCarthy and first-year Mario Puskarich dug the puck free in the Maine zone, which led to Muscoby getting the tally to regain the lead.

“It was a real nice pass by McCarthy,” Muscoby said. “It went off my stick and then off my skate and went into the net. It was kind of a lucky bounce but I’ll take it.”

With less than two minutes in the final frame Maine pulled goalie Ouellette for the extra skater. The Catamounts kept the puck tied up in the corner, and were able to hold on to their 3-2 lead.

“Maine was very aggressive tonight. They outworked us at times,” said Head Coach Kevin Sneddon. “We fought to get the momentum back at various points in the game and I’m pleased we found a way to win the game when things weren’t going great for us.”

Hoffman ended the game with 32 saves, which marked his second win of the season. Vermont went 1-4 in power plays while Maine went 1-3 for the night.

After a scoreless first period in their second game against Maine, Vermont senior Anthony DeCenzo got his first tally of the season off a pass from senior forward H.T. Lenz.

With less than two minutes remaining in the second period Maine tied the game with a shorthanded goal off a wrist-shot that went under the pad of first-year goalie Mike Santaguida.

“We found ourselves in a very similar situation to Friday, tie game going into the third,” Sneddon said. “Let’s play to win and our guys did a great job with that. I thought we were the more aggressive team tonight.”

UVM remained in control for the rest of the game after DeCenzo passed to Lenz, at the top of the crease, who fired a shot past the Maine goaltender. Vermont continued to put pressure on the Black Bears when Paliotta’s shot from the left point rebounded to Puskarich who wristed a shot into the open net.

Maine pulled Ouellette for an extra skater with more than two minutes in regulation and scored, making it a one-goal game.

Still in a 6-on-5 situation, McCarthy caused a turnover near the left wing boards in the Vermont zone, and hit the shot into the open net from center ice, making the score 4-2. Senior Connor Brickley got another tally on an empty-netter just 30 seconds later.

Santaguida ended the game with 24 saves and collected his fifth collegiate victory while the team went 1-5 on the power play.12