CANTON, N.Y. — The University of Vermont opened up a tight game with goals 1:31 apart in the second period and the nation’s second-best defensive team went on to a 4-0 victory over St. Lawrence University in an NCAA Division I hockey game at Appleton Arena Saturday night.
Vermont goaltender Joe Fallon recorded his third shutout of the season and Vermont held the Saints scoreless on seven power play chances, improving their penalty kill percentage to 93 percent for they year as the 13th-ranked Catamounts improved to 10-5-1 overall with their eighth win in the last nine games. St. Lawrence will take an 8-8-1 overall record into a break for exams and the holidays.
Vermont went into the game with a team goals against average of 1.67 and between Fallon and a strong team defensive effort, improved that mark as the Saints were shut out for the second time in the last three games. The Catamounts and Notre Dame are now tied for the nation’s lead in defense at 1.56 goals per game and UVM’s penalty kill leads all Division I teams.
“Vermont is a tremendous team and is great at taking care of the puck as well as playing great defense,” said Saint coach Joe Marsh. “I thought our guys put the effort into it, but it wasn’t one of our better nights from an execution standpoint. They won a lot of the battles for the puck and that makes a huge difference in a hockey game.”
The Catamounts struck for the only goal of a fast-paced first period as junior Torrey Mitchell jammed the puck through Saint goalie Kain Tisi on a shorthanded rush for his sixth of the year. Mitchell was hooked by a Saint defender and a delayed penalty was being indicated when the Vermont junior collided with Tisi and the puck ended up in the dislodged net at 16:51 of the first. The play was ruled a valid goal after a conversation between referee John Murphy and the goal judge.
The Catamounts stretched their lead to 3-0 with a pair of goals 1:31 apart in the second period. Senior defenseman Kenny Macaulay scored his second of the year with a shot over Tisi’s shoulder right off a faceoff win by Corey Carlson at 14:03 and Chris Myers scored the game’s first even-strength goal at 15:34. Ryan Gunderson set up Myers’ third of the season with a blast from the center slot which went off Tisi’s mask and Myers snapped the rebound back into the net.
Freshman Viktor Stalberg completed the scoring for the Catamounts when he tucked a shot inside the far post at 9:26 of the third period.
Fallon made 31 saves for his 14th career shutout while Tisi finished with 36 saves for the Saints.
“Kain turned in a solid performance again,” said Marsh. “We had a couple of breakdowns that led to goals in our end and Vermont just didn’t make any mistakes in theirs. We will hit the books, take a little break for the holidays and then get right back at it with the Dartmouth tournament after Christmas.”