TROY, N.Y. — The Vermont Catamounts did something on Saturday night that they have never done before. The Cats shut out Rensselaer, 3-0, and in the process pitched the first back-to-back shutouts in Vermont’s Division I history. The Cats also maintained its lead in the ECACHL at three points over Harvard.
All the Cats needed were a goal in the first, two second-period goals by Matt Syroczynski and 16 saves by Travis Russell.
“It was just a solid effort by an entire team this weekend,” said Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon. “You couldn’t ask for anything for 120 minutes.”
The Cats got on the board in the first in a four-on-four skating situation. Chris Smart beat Andrew Martin to give the Cats a 1-0 lead.
In the second Syroczynski added two goals to make it a 3-0 game. The first came as a power play expired and the Engineers could not clear the zone. Syroczynski roofed it past Martin. His second was a bouncing puck that avoided Martin’s reach.
From there the Vermont defense took over, not allowing the Engineers many chances.
“Defense is going to be so important down the stretch,” said Sneddon. “If we can continue to keep the guys focused on that, we’re going to win some hockey games.”
For the Engineers it was another frustrating evening on the offensive side, as they were held scoreless, and continue to be in a offensive slump, not having scored an even-strength goal against a goaltender in 198:11.
“We just need to generate some offense, that’s the bottom line,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “Somebody’s got to step up and get an offensive touch. It’s not coming normally so we have to create it, and we’re just not doing that right now.”
For the Engineers (9-12-2, 2-7-1 ECACHL) it gets no easier with Colgate and Cornell coming into the Fieldhouse next weekend. Vermont (13-6-3, 7-1-2 ECACHL) will hope to continue it’s run with another game against Dartmouth at home.