The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

    Merrimack splits two game series with Vermont

    Courtesy of UVM Athletics
    UVM men’s hockey wins 4-1 against Merrimack Feb. 17.

    Entering the back half of conference play, Vermont found themselves in the mix for a top-seven finish in a competitive Hockey East division.

    The Cats, coming off back-to-back road shoot-out wins against Lowell, were back home in a packed Gutterson Fieldhouse for a two-game set against Merrimack College.

    Dawning their new “802” jerseys for Vermont Night, head coach Steve Wiedler and his squad looked to make a statement and put on a show for the home crowd.

    From the opening puck drop, the Merrimack Warriors were on the attack. They found the back of the net within the first 30 seconds, but an offsides call by the line officials took the goal away.

    The rest of the period was defensively driven, with neither offensive creating an advantage. That would change in the second period, as both teams came out firing.

    Merrimack notched a powerplay goal to break the scoreless tie. Less than a minute later, a Vermont miscue led to an own goal that gave the visitors a 2-0 lead.

    Vermont’s graduate forward Chris Theodore rattled off two goals of his own in the period, but Merrimack’s four-goal second period put them comfortably in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game.

    When both offenses went stagnant in the third period, the Cats pulled senior goalie Gabe Carriere from the net late in the period for an extra scoring threat on the ice. However, Merrimack notched an empty-net goal with under four minutes to play.

    Merrimack spoiled UVM’s Vermont Night, but the Catamounts wouldn’t have to wait long for a chance at redemption. Twenty-four hours later, both squads took to the ice again.

    Merrimack established a lead early yet again, as they kicked off the scoring with a goal within the first 3 minutes of the game.

    Sophomore forward Massimo Lombardi scored the equalizer in the second period, his fifth of the year. Merrimack forward Ty Daneault was ejected minutes later for checking from behind and a post-penalty misconduct.

    Later in the period, sophomore forward Jens Richards found the back of the net for his tenth goal of the season, and gave the Cats their first lead since their match against UMass Lowell.

    Vermont was up 3-1 heading into the final period, following a last-minute goal from graduate forward Zach Dubinsky. Tensions were high heading into the third, but the Catamounts remained in control of the puck.

    Sophomore forward Thomas Sinclair scored his fourth goal of the season with a short-handed, cross-ice goal into an empty net with under five minutes to go. Defensively, Carriere was perfect in the third, going 11-for-11 on saves.

    As fans headed to exits in the final minutes, tempers flared again. With just over a minute left, Merrimack’s senior forward Alex Jefferies initiated contact to the head, leading the team’s second ejection of the game.

    Despite the countless penalties and scuffles, Vermont walked off the ice with a bounce-back 3-1 win and momentum they hope to carry into their two-game series against No. 1 ranked Boston College at the end of the month.

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