BURLINGTON, Vt. — Behind two goals from senior Dan Travis, Quinnipiac defeated Vermont, 4-1, winning the Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup Sunday at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
The Bobcats (10-5-2), who were missing four top players due to injury, including captain Jaime Bates and assistant captain Matt Sorteberg, ran their season-long winning streak to five games.
The Catamounts’ (4-7-4) record as hosts of the tournament fell to 7-14-3 in 12 seasons.
Vermont showed little fight after the initial minutes of the game, which saw Brayden Irwin and Viktor Stalberg both hit goalposts.
“I was disappointed, I thought we came out and played pretty well [early],” said UVM head coach Kevin Sneddon. “We established the tempo we wanted to right away in the first few minutes of the game and had some scoring opportunities, but I thought, unfortunately, they got better, and we got worse as the game went on.
“I thought Quinnipiac played a great game. I thought they were far more disciplined in their systems, and it tended to frustrate our guys, and we just didn’t do anything we talked about doing in pre-game.”
The Bobcats killed Vermont’s momentum in the early going with a power-play goal at 7:25. David Marshall’s deflection of Greg Holt’s shot from the point popped up and over a diving Joe Fallon.
“Once we went up 1-0, I thought we were pretty good after that,” said Bobcats’ coach Rand Pecknold. “I thought that really settled us and kind of took Vermont off the offensive there for a little bit, because early on, they were great and we were kind of back on our heels.”
Quinnipiac added another shortly after when Jean-Marc Beaudoin found Travis alone in the slot with a pass from the right-wing boards. Travis finished the play with a wrist shot through Fallon’s legs at 9:32.
Brandon Wong looked to have lifted the Bobcats’ lead to three with three minutes left on a two-on-one, but his shot from below the right circle was deemed to have hit the post after an official review.
Irwin got Vermont back within one at 19:44. Peter Lenes’ point shot was blocked to Irwin, whose initial attempt was stopped by Quinnipiac goaltender and tournament MVP Bud Fisher (19 saves). Irwin pounced on the rebound, putting it past Fisher on the doorstep.
Travis scored his second of the game with 2:31 left in the second, again from Beaudoin. His shot from the slot found room over the shoulder of Fallon.
“I thought the third goal was huge,” said Pecknold. “I’m not sure exactly what happened. I know Travis got in, forechecked hard, the goalie kind of misplayed it, and [Beaudoin] came up with it and popped it out front, and Travis, nice and calmly, just roofed it. I thought that was the pivotal goal of the game.”
Eric Lampe finished the scoring at 8:51 of the third period when he picked up a loose puck and fired a wrist shot on Fallon that he couldn’t quite corral before it dribbled off his glove and into the net.
“Three of the four goals were really, really bad mistakes; I don’t know that we made them earn those goals,” said Sneddon. “Thats frustrating, so, back to the drawing board a little bit. Those are freebies and you can’t do that at this level. Good teams capitalize on those chances, and we made more mistakes than Quinnipiac tonight. It’s pretty simple.”
Sneddon wasn’t particularly happy with many things against the Bobcats, the breakout being one of them.
“When you’re playing against a team that is really good in [the] neutral [zone] at slowing you down, we need to do a better job of being open, getting open and moving the puck,” he said. “[Our defensemen] held onto the puck for too long, and we couldn’t generate anything coming through the neutral zone.”
Fallon, who made his second start of the weekend after expected starter Mike Spillane was injured prior to the game, made 17 saves for Vermont.
The Bobcats host Harvard on Saturday, while Vermont travels to Boston University.
“Quinnipiac was the better team hands down, a much better team than we are right now,” said Sneddon. “They deserved the Catamount Cup.”