LOWELL, Mass. — The 17th-ranked Catamounts allowed a season-high five goals as UMass-Lowell defeated Vermont, 5-2, in the regular season finale for both teams at Tsongas Arena in front of a crowd of 2,721. The Catamounts finish the regular season 18-12-6 overall and 10-11-6 in Hockey East while UMass-Lowell improved to 14-18-2 and 11-14-2 in conference. Vermont is the No. 6 seed for the upcoming Hockey East quarterfinals and will play third seeded Boston College. The best-of-three series starts Thursday, March 9 at 7:00pm at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
“I just want to put this weekend behind us and get ready for the playoffs,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said.
The Catamounts were outshot, 34-23, and had 11 penalties in the game. Vermont was outscored, 8-4, by the River Hawks on the weekend.
UML took a 2-0 lead in the first period as seniors Mark Pandolfo and Danny O’Brien notched goals for the River Hawks.
UMass-Lowell made it 3-0 during a 4-on-4 at 1:34 of the second period when O’Brien scored his second goal of the game.
The Catamounts would get on the board just 20 seconds later, also during a 4-on-4, when junior Chris Myers knocked in a rebound off a shot by senior assistant captain Joey Gasparini to make the score 3-1. Senior captain Jaime Sifers also assisted on the play.
UML came back to add two more goals in the second period to take a commanding 5-1 lead. Junior J.R. Bria and senior Brad King each tallied scores for the River Hawks. Bria’s goal came on a power play. It marked the first time all year the Catamounts had trailed by four goals in a game.
With less than five minutes to go in the second period senior Jeff Corey notched his team high 15th goal of the year. Senior assistant captain Brady Leisenring set up the score and junior Ryan Gunderson also assisted on the play. The assist for Leisenring gave him 117 points (46 goals, 71 assists) in his career, moving him past John LeClair ’91 for the most points by a Vermont-born player in school history.
After a total of seven goals were scored in the first two periods neither team would score in the final period.
Vermont sophomore goalie Joe Fallon made 19 saves before giving way to senior Travis Russell midway through the second period. Russell finished up with 10 stops in net. UML sophomore goalie Peter Vetri made 21 saves for the River Hawks.