BURLINGTON, Vt. — Behind two power-play goals from Corey Carlson and a goal and two assists from Viktor Stalberg, the Vermont Catamounts erased the memory of their humiliating 9-1 home loss to Boston University Friday with a 5-4 victory Saturday.
Down 3-1, early in the second, it seemed like Vermont was in for a repeat of Friday’s events, but they rallied for four goals and the first home win of the season.
“Words can’t really describe how, as a coaching staff, we feel about our kids right now,” said Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon. “When you see the effort that they put forth and how they came together in a 24-hour period, its a remarkable turnaround.
“It’s the response that counts,” Sneddon continued. “when you get knocked down, how quickly do you get back up and start swinging again? And I thought our guys did a great job of that tonight.”
Brandon Yip gave the Terriers the early lead, 1:26 into the first period, on a power play. Vermont goaltender Joe Fallon (24 saves) got a piece of Yip’s drive from the left point with his stick, but not enough.
Vermont tied the game at 14:05. Brayden Irwin won an offensive-zone draw back to Josh Burrows, who found Stalberg to the left of BU’s Brett Bennett (eight saves). Stalberg’s shot beat Bennett for his second on the weekend.
BU retook the lead with less than a minute to go in the period on another power play. Parked on the left post, Chris Higgins batted a Pete MacArthur shot past Fallon. Vermont complained that Higgins hit the puck while it was above the crossbar, but to no avail.
BU extended the lead to two 25 seconds into the second. All of the Terriers’ first line, instrumental in BUs victory Friday with 11 points, figured in the goal. MacArthur (a goal and an assist) deposited a low shot behind Fallon.
“Actually, the game was in complete control at 3-1 and in a 10-minute span in the second period we lost our poise a little bit, took some penalties,” said BU coach Jack Parker.
First, Carlson beat Bennett with a one-timer from the point on the power play at 7:20 to close the gap to one.
While skating 4-on-4, BU’s Colby Cohen went off for boarding at 9:13 to set up a 4-on-3 situation. Burrows tallied his first collegiate goal, from inside the right circle, to knot the game at three.
“They get two power play goals, executed it very nicely, but we didn’t play it the way we like to play it, number one,” Parker said. “Number two, sometimes power plays score. I don’t think we took real stupid penalties, but I think we could’ve been a little bit smarter with our penalties.”
Dan Lawson put Vermont ahead with 2:30 left in the second. He took passes from Stalberg and Lenes on the rush before firing a shot that deflected off a BU stick and popped into the air, eventually landing behind Bennett.
The Terriers got a five-on-three for 1:12, late in the period, but the Vermont penalty kill coupled with Fallon’s three strong saves in the sequence, kept them off the board.
“Give Fallon a lot of credit, he made some big saves,” Parker said. “He was very poised tonight, after getting pulled last night. He came back and stood tall for them. So, I thought that was a big plus for them as far as their goaltending and their team.”
Karson Gillespie (five saves) replaced Bennett in goal when the third period began and gave up Carlson’s second of the game on the power play at 9:13. Carlson one-timed a Colin Vock centering pass for the two-goal lead.
Higgins cut the lead to one, at 13:40, on another two-man advantage for the Terriers when he knocked in Gilroys shot after it hit the glass, but BU would get no closer.
“I thought we probably learned more and grew a little bit more after tonight’s game than we did after last night’s game,” said Parker. “Last night’s game was obviously too easy; tonight’s game was good for both teams. It was great for Vermont, after what happened to them last night, obviously, and where they are in the standings, they needed the win, but it was good for us, too, to play hard.
“If we had lost 5-4 because we were turning the puck over and didn’t play smart, or took it lightly [I would be disappointed]. We certainly didn’t do any of that. All the stuff I was worried about before the game didn’t happen. We played a very, very good hockey game. They just happened to get a little bit more effort out of their guys, and they played well tonight.”