BURLINGTON, Vt. — Led by Torrey Mitchell’s three-goal, one-assist effort, six skaters had multi-point games as the No. 19 Vermont Catamounts breezed past St. Francis Xavier 10-3 in exhibition action at Gutterson Fieldhouse Friday.
The Cats were paced by a tremendous game on special teams. UVM went five-for-10 with the man advantage, and Mitchell added a shorthanded tally for good measure.
Vermont took control of the game from the outset, scoring three times in the first as all three came from special teams. Ryan Gunderson got things started at 4:09 on the power play, batting home the rebound of a Corey Carlson shot from the left point for the first UVM goal of the season.
Just 70 seconds later, killing a penalty, the sophomore Mitchell picked off a pass in the offensive zone, made a terrific move, and slid the puck under St Francis Xavier goalie Tyson Kellerman, while he moved from side-to-side .
Chris Myers, another player who will be counted on to fill the scoring void left with the graduation of 48-point man Scott Mifsud, stretched the lead to three just eight minutes later. He dug the puck out of the right-wing boards, skated unmarked, and ripped a wrist shot past Kellerman — again on the power play.
In the period, the Cats speed seemed too much for the X-Men to handle. Much of the period was spent in their zone and the X-Men only managed four shots to Vermont’s 16 through 20 minutes.
“I’m seeing some really good things just out of their own creativity, which we can now build from,” Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon said of his offense.
Mitchell added his second of the night eight minutes into the second, rifling a cross-ice feed cleanly past Kellerman for a 5-0 advantage.
Then four minutes later, on an extended five-on-three, Carlson, the highly touted freshman from Two Harbors, Minn., got on the board pouncing on a loose puck down low. He fired a wrister that somehow sneaked through the goaltender.
Sneddon singled out the play of Carlson, Dean Strong, and Peter Lenes.
“They were terrific,” he said. “I really liked what I saw out of those guys.”
As the period wore on, the game got chippy. After the 10-minute mark, St. Francis’s Ryan Mackay was whistled for a major for hitting from behind and given a game misconduct.
At 16:41 Art Femenella hit an X-Man and was given a misconduct of his own. That gave St. Francis its first goal of the night. Ryan Desrosiers converted a feed from Ryan Salvis in the final minutes of the power play. That cut the lead to five going into the third.
The final stanza saw the X-Men get two more, but at that point it was too late. The Cats added goals from Strong on the power play, Baron Becker, Mitchell’s third of the night, and Tom Collingham.
Kellerman finished with 31 saves, while sophomore Joe Fallon made 13 before giving way to little-used Jeff Hill for the final six-plus minutes. Hill went untested in his mop-up duty.
St. Francis was 0-for-eight on the power play.
That was another reason St. Francis coach Brad Peddle was disgusted with his team’s play, and found no positives in its poor showing.
“We got completely outworked,” he said. “Our guys weren’t ready to match the intensity that UVM brought. We got some discipline problems. … They just wanted it more.”
“The one real highlight,” Sneddon said, “was, we’re in shape. We’ve got incredible speed and I really liked our jump.”
Vermont next plays at the Nye Frontier Classic in Anchorage versus Michigan Tech on Friday and Alaska-Anchorage Saturday.