UVM grabs first win of year against No. 6 Boston College

It took until the second night of the series, but the men’s hockey team finally broke through and captured their first win of the season against the defending national champion, the Boston College Eagles.

The Catamounts were defeated 3-2 on Nov. 12 to begin the series but on Nov. 13 they withstood a late comeback attempt from the Eagles and skated to a 5-3 victory.

“Coach is really happy about the character we have in the locker room and we have a great group of guys and we’re all in it together–coaches included,” first-year Connor Brickley said. “We’ve stayed confident in each other, we always believed in each other and we just wanted to get that first win. We wanted to work hard together and it paid off and now we’re pretty happy about it.”

“I give these kids credit after going through seven games without a win and they’ve all been very close contests, not easy to go through emotionally,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “So I’m very proud of them, they stuck together and found a way to get it done, and now I think they feel like they can play that way and play against any team in the country.”

Sophomore Chris McCarthy and senior Wahsontiio Stacey netted the two goals for Vermont on Nov. 12 while first-year Bill Arnold, junior Cam Atkinson and sophomore Chris Kreider scored for Boston College.

The action began early in the first period when McCarthy’s goal put the Catamounts on top less than a minute into the game.

The Eagles rebounded quickly though, with Arnold’s goal at 3:53, and the game was even once again.

Stacey rounded out the first period with a goal at 10:16, putting the Catamounts up 2-1 with a wrist shot from the left circle.

The Eagles chipped at and eventually toppled Vermont’s lead in the second period, when Atkinson and Kreider both scored, giving the Eagles the 3-2 lead. This sealed the fate of the Catamounts, as neither team scored in the final period.

The second night of the series began very much like the first but had a dramatically different ending.

Sophomores McCarthy, Sebastian Stalberg and Tobias Nilsson-Roos scored for Vermont on Nov. 13, along with first-years H.T. Lenz and Brickley. Junior Jimmy Hayes scored twice for the Eagles and junior Cam Atkinson also scored.

Mirroring Nov. 12, the Catamounts jumped out to an early first-period lead on a goal from McCarthy.

Also similar to the previous night’s game, the Eagles came back quickly to tie. Atkinson scored at 5:09, tying the game at one.

Stalberg gave the Catamounts the lead again at 15:32 and this carried them all the way until the third period, as neither team was able to score in the second.

Boston College sophomore Pat Mullane took control of the puck in the offensive zone early in the third period. He came close to scoring but couldn’t put the puck past junior goalie Rob Madore.

Instead, the Catamounts widened the gap just seconds later at 2:28. Brickley passed the puck to Lenz, who sent a wrist shot past Milner for his first career goal.

Brickley scored a goal of his own at 8:44, tipping in a shot that senior Dan Lawson had taken. This put the Catamounts up 4-1.

The Eagles did not give up, though, and it was here that they began their drive to close the gap and push for a late comeback.

Hayes scored two goals, putting his team within one goal of tying the game as the final period was winding down.

“Tip of the hat obviously to BC, you know they’re down and out at 4-1 and they made it a great run at the end there. I think we got a little bit tight and tense and worried,” Sneddon said.

Both teams took timeouts in the final minutes of the third and Boston College made the decision to pull sophomore goaltender Parker Milner from the net.

This decision left the door open for Nilsson-Roos, who sent the puck across the ice from the defensive zone and scored an empty netter to seal the victory at 19:26.

The next challenge for the team will be a game against UMass on Nov. 23.