UVM handed first loss

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Last minute goals made a huge difference for the men’s hockey team last Friday in a loss to the No. 6 Merrimack Warriors. This loss was the first of the season for the No. 7 ranked Catamounts.

Vermont was the first to score with a goal by first-year Jonathan Turk late in the first period. Turk picked up the puck after it was blocked by the Merrimack goaltender, and nailed the shot to the back of the net. 

Minutes later, Vermont added another tally to the board and earned their third power play as Turk got the puck to junior Nick Bruneteau, who then sent the puck straight into the goal. 

The Warriors came back to match UVM’s score later on in the second period.

Further into the third, Vermont let go of the puck, allowing it to fall into the hands of Merrimack, who then beat first-year Brody Hoffman to the goal, awarding the Warriors their first lead of the game.

Vermont fired right back with the start of the final period as sophomore Jacob Fallon caught a rebound off Merrimack’s goaltender and passed to Chris McCarthy.

McCarthy utilized the empty net and brought Vermont back up to match Merrimack with a score of 3-3.

The score was locked at the tie for the rest of the match until the final five minutes when Merrimack beat out Hoffman three more times to rack the score up to the game winning 6-3.

“Unfortunately, it just came down to a couple of costly penalties and defensive mistakes on our end, but I’m proud of the way we battled back with energy,” said head Coach Kevin Sneddon in a post-game interview with VermonTV.

The Catamounts finished in a 2-2 tie with the Warriors, bringing their season record to 0-1-2.

“It all comes down to the mentality of your time,” Sneddon said. “The guys still need to learn how to win, but we battled much harder than Friday night, and we played on our toes.”

Vermont’s first goal came during the second period by Pete Massar off a pass from first-year Robert Polesello.

The second arrived less than a minute later as first-year Nick Luukko fired a shot into the goal, avoiding the line of Merrimack defensemen. Both goals were career firsts for Massar and Luukko.

The Catamounts will return home to Gutterson on Nov. 2 and 3 in their home opener as they host Providence in a two game series.

Last season the Catamounts went out on the road to face Providence at their home rink for a two game weekend. 

Vermont returned home with two losses added to their record, racking up a total three points over the two games, compared to Providence’s 10.

Fans can expect an action-packed game as the Catamounts face the No. 5 ranked Friars this weekend.

First-year Friars goalie Jon Gillies was recently named Hockey East Rookie of the Week for two consecutive weeks after earning his first career shutout with 26 saves, earning a .914 save percentage.

Gillies led his team to victory last week as they swept Maine in a three game weekend. 

Another name the Catamounts are looking out for is Ross Mauermann. Last season Mauermann was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team and became the first Friar first-year to lead the team in points since the 2008-2009 season.  

Mauermann scored two goals against Vermont last time the two teams met.