BURLNGTON — It was a very different atmosphere at Gutterson Fieldhouse Saturday night as Massachusetts, coming off a 2-1 loss to Vermont, roared past that same team 6-0 in the second game of a weekend series.
Junior assistant captain T.J. Syner scored twice for UMass. Junior assistant captain Danny Hobbs, freshman Michael Pereira, sophomore Kevin Czepiel, and senior Chase Langeraap also notched goals for the Minutemen.
“I’m a little bit speechless because we haven’t had two many nights like this,” UMass coach Don Cahoon said. “This league doesn’t afford you nights like this very often, and you know, quite honestly I would have taken a 1-0 win and gone away extremely happy, but the fact that we were able to make some plays and convert on those plays and get the shutout was a little bit of a bonus.”
“They put their speed to great use, their transition game was great, they were awesome tonight and we were terrible,” Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon said
UMass senior goalie and captain Paul Dainton earned his first shutout of the season, stopping all 26 shots that were sent his way.
“Paul’s been a very good goalie for us for all four years; all you have to do is look at the situations he’s been in, he’s handled himself really well,” Cahoon said.
The Minutemen picked up the first penalty of the evening when freshman Eric Filiou was called for cross-checking. The Catamounts tried hard to take advantage of the resulting power play and players crowded close to the UMass net, taking a few close shots in front of Dainton. Dainton held on though, and UMass was able to kill off the penalty.
With under five minutes left to play in the first, shots-on-goal were even at six for both teams. It appeared that this was possibly turning into another scoreless period, as two periods had been in the previous night’s game.
It was here that the Minutemen broke through and shattered the scoreless tie at 15:27. Vermont junior goalie Rob Madore slid to the left of the net, leaving an open gap for Hobbs, who knocked in the puck.
Minutes later at 17:53, Syner added a goal for UMass when he received the puck from Hobbs and shot a quick wrister that flew to the back of the Vermont net.
The Catamounts tried to get a goal back in the final minute of the first, as they got a shot off while Dainton had stepped out of the crease. The shot was wide of the net though, and the Minutemen took a two-goal lead into the second period.
UMass carried momentum with them into the second period as well, scoring three goals in the frame.
It took Syner less than a minute to start the action as he tallied his second goal of the night, re-directing a pass and sending it past Madore at 37 seconds.
Pereira scored the fourth goal of the game at 9:30 when he picked up a feed from Filiou and sent the puck into the net.
The Catamounts took a timeout almost immediately following Pereira’s goal, but this didn’t help in holding off UMass for the remainder of the period.
Czepiel added the fifth goal at 14:06, picking up a rebound and sending a shot high past Madore.
This led to a goaltender change for Vermont, as Madore was pulled in favor of freshman Alex Vazzano to try and stop the bleeding.
UMass killed off four penalties in the first two periods while Vermont did not have to send a single player to the box.
“You don’t often get away with taking four penalties in two periods, the way we kill penalties sometimes, without giving up a goal that could have changed the momentum a little bit,” Cahoon said.
“They took four penalties in a row and five out of the first six penalties in the game, that’s because they were playing hard; it wasn’t that we were ultra disciplined and not taking penalties, we didn’t play hard enough to create penalties,” Sneddon said.
Langeraap’s goal dealt the final blow to the Catamounts late in the third period at 18:56 when he sent a low snap shot into the net from the right circle.