BURLNGTON — Ohio State defeated Vermont, 3-1, at Gutterson Fieldhouse in the second game of the first day of the 15th annual Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup. Harvard defeated Army 4-2 earlier in the day to begin the tournament.
Junior Danny Dries scored twice and senior captain Sergio Somma recorded a goal for Ohio State while senior Wahsontiio Stacey scored the lone goal for Vermont.
When Vermont senior captain Kevan Miller was sent to the box for a boarding penalty at 11:32 in the first period, Ohio State tried to capitalize. Somma shot the puck from close to the Vermont crease, but couldn’t get past Vermont junior goaltender Rob Madore. The Catamounts proceeded to kill off the penalty without damage.
With less than two minutes remaining in the period, Ohio State tried again to open up the scoring. Senior John Albert shot the puck from the left circle, but Madore captured it in his glove, preserving the scoreless tie that carried into the second period.
The shots were just about even in the opening period, with 11 for Vermont and 10 for Ohio State.
Stacey scored the first goal of the game five minutes into the second period. Freshman Nick Bruneteau passed the puck to Stacey, who shot the puck high past Ohio State junior goalie Cal Heeter.
Soon after Stacey’s goal, Miller picked up his second penalty of the game, this time for interference at 5:49. Freshman Anthony DeCenzo joined Miller in the box for a tripping penalty just 30 seconds later.
With two Vermont players off the ice, the Buckeyes quickly capitalized at 6:50 and tied the game at one. Dries scored his first goal with a slap shot from the right circle.
Ohio State senior C.J. Severyn was penalized with a contact-to-the-head major penalty and game misconduct later in the second. Ohio State was able to kill off the five-minute penalty without giving up any goals to the Catamounts.
“I just told our guys that penalties are part of the game and the referees got to make the call; you can agree or disagree, but our job is to go out there and play with lots of energy and I thought our guys took it upon themselves to go out there and play with great energy and that’s the way we approached it,” Ohio State associate head coach Steve Rohlik said.
“We had a glorious opportunity with a five-minute power play and I don’t know if we had more than one or two shots worth anything,” Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon said.
The Catamounts gave the Buckeyes their second five-on-three power-play opportunity of the game at 1:29 of the third period when senior Dan Lawson and sophomore Chris McCarthy were called for penalties just seconds apart.
Much like the earlier five-on-three, the Buckeyes tried to quickly make an impact. Albert got the puck very close to the Vermont goal line, but couldn’t break through.
Somma refused to let the momentum slip though, and he managed to get the puck up and over the goal line from close to the Vermont net. Somma’s goal was reviewed but upheld by the officials and the Buckeyes took a 2-1 lead.
“You’ve got to take advantage when you get those opportunities; we just happened to get a couple five-on-threes, and we scored on them, which you need to,” Rohlik said.
“For the most part I thought we did some really nice things tonight; five-on-four I thought we did a really good job, you can’t give a team two five-on-threes,” Sneddon said.
Vermont took a timeout with 1:42 left to play in the game and Madore was pulled from the net. This left the net open for Dries’s second goal of the game, and he scored an empty-netter, sealing the victory for Ohio State.
The Catamount Cup will continue tomorrow when Ohio State takes on Army. Vermont will face Harvard in the final game of the tournament.