BURLINGTON — Vermont came out strong against Providence Saturday night, decisively defeating the Friars, 7-1, in Hockey East Action at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
This game followed a 1-1 tie that the teams had played on Friday night.
Seven different Catamounts recorded the goals in the game. Sophomores Ben Albertson, Chris McCarthy, Anders Franzon and Tobias Nilsson-Roos scored for Vermont, along with senior assistant captain Jack Downing, junior Drew MacKenzie and freshman H.T. Lenz.
Senior assistant captain Matt Germain scored the goal for Providence.
“I’m very pleased for our young men; they’ve been through a lot and certainly this is a step in the right direction,” Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon said. “We’ve got a long way to go, but I thought this was the first weekend that we played with great energy for both nights in a long time.”
The Catamounts wasted no time kicking off the scoring in the first period. Albertson scored at 2:14, picking up a pass from fellow Vermont senior Brett Leonard and sending in a wrist shot from the left circle.
“Leonard made a nice pass to me and I just beat the goalie low-glove,” Albertson said.
Vermont senior Josh Burrows picked up a cross-checking penalty at 6:30.Providence snatched the opportunity and earned the equalizer at 6:55. Germain found an opening behind Vermont junior goalie Rob Madore close to the net and slipped the puck in.
Vermont had a brief look at a four-on-three power play chance when Providence senior Eric Baier and Providence sophomore Myles Harvey were serving penalties along with Downing for Vermont.
The Catamounts broke the tie just as play returned to four-on-four. McCarthy scored at 14:08, collecting a pass from senior assistant captain Kyle Medvec and sending the puck into the net from the left circle.
Vermont took advantage of the period’s final power play after Providence junior Daniel New was whistled for a cross-checking penalty and a game misconduct. MacKenzie lit the lamp at 19:38, while Providence junior Matt Bergland was serving the penalty in place of New. MacKenzie slipped the puck in between the leg pads of junior goalie Alex Beaudry to put the Catamounts on top 3-1.
The shots were even in the first period, with 13 for each team.
It was in the second period that the Catamounts started to pull further away from the Friars. Franzon took control of the puck and carried it into the offensive zone, where he knocked a wrist shot past Beaudry at 14:05. This success for Franzon came after Beaudry had stifled a promising one-timer that came off Franzon’s stick in the previous night’s game. This was also Franzon’s first career goal at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
“We tried to push back, but the third and fourth goal took us out of any kind of comeback,” Providence coach Tim Army said.
Nilsson-Roos continued the momentum for Vermont soon after at 17:36, shooting the puck high into the net.
Lenz took his turn to score next and widened the gap even further when he wrapped the puck around the net at 18:40, finding just enough space to slide the puck through.
This gave the Catamounts a 6-1 to take into the third period.
To start off the third, junior Justin Gates stepped in to take over goaltending duties for the Friars.
While Vermont freshman Nick Bruneteau was serving a holding-the-stick penalty at 10:37, there was a scramble in front of the Vermont net as Providence players tried to add a goal. The Friars were unable to get past Madore though.
Instead it was the Catamounts who were not finished scoring yet in the game. As the final period was winding down, Downing found a gap to put the puck through as Gates slid to one side of the net at 14:39.