Men’s hockey swept by North Dakota

Junior Michael Santaguida defends the net during a game against Nebraska Omaha Oct. 16. DAYNA WYCKOFF/The Vermont Cynic
Junior Michael Santaguida defends the net during a game against Nebraska Omaha Oct. 16. DAYNA WYCKOFF/The Vermont Cynic

The early season gauntlet continues for UVM men’s hockey as they welcomed No. 1 North Dakota for a two game series at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

The Cats entered the series with a record of 1-2-0 after facing what was then the nation’s third ranked team in Nebraska-Omaha the previous weekend.

It was clear which team had 12 NHL draft picks and which team had one. Game one of this series took a surprising turn before the puck was even dropped.

Junior left winger, and last year’s leading goal scorer, Brady Shaw as well as sophomore Kevin Irwin were both healthy scratches.

“For us right now it’s about making sure we are holding everyone accountable. Part of it is to using our depth, using our different players, and seeing what we have” head coach Kevin Sneddon said.  UVM was outshot in the first period 15 to 8, but held North Dakota scoreless.

Early in the third period North Dakota went on a two-man advantage after two UVM penalties.

Just as the first penalty expired, North Dakota’s Bryn Chyzyk buried a goal past Santaguida to give the Sioux a 2-0 lead over the Cats. UVM pulled Santaguida with a minute and half left to try to stage a comeback, but the effort fell short.

The game would end with in a 2-0 North Dakota victory. The final shots for the game were UVM-27, ND-41. “We just want to keep getting better,” Sneddon said. “These are very strong opponents and we are not where we need to be yet.”

After falling in game one of the weekend to North Dakota, UVM needed to come out strong in Saturday’s game. The Sioux got on the board first when Drake Caggiula scored during the first period. Five minutes later sophomore Jarrid Privitera scored. Less than five minutes later, North Dakota struck again as Brock Boeser scored a breakaway goal on Santaguida.

The second period saw Jarrid Privitera score his second goal of the night. Less than a minute later, the Sioux’s Christian Wolanin scored, which gave North Dakota the lead heading into the third period. The final score of Saturday’s game had the Cats on the losing end with a score of 5-2. After winning their first game 3-0 against Minnesota, the Cats are 1-4-0.

Sneddon assured that the losses for the weekend were not on Santaguida. “Michael was far and away our best player this weekend,” Sneddon said. “This weekend was tough on our guys, but it will help us sharpen the saw and be better down the stretch.”

The Catamounts next face off in a home-and-home series with Northeastern University at 7:05 p.m. this Thursday and Saturday, with the next home Saturday Oct. 31 at Gutterson Fieldhouse.