BOSTON – Chris McCarthy scored two goals and Mike Santaguida made 23 saves as No. 18 Vermont upset No. 11 Northeastern in convincing fashion, 4-1.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t place the same value tonight as we did last night, and that was disappointing because every game is a big game,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan.
The game started off much like Friday night’s game, with Vermont outshooting Northeastern (14-8) in the opening frame, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. Both Northeastern goalie Clay Witt and Santaguida were tested early and often, with each team getting transition opportunities in the first couple minutes of the game.
Much like the previous night, Northeastern took a 1-0 lead at 17:31 in the second period, this time on a goal by Dalen Hedges. That lead lasted for only 2:14 seconds of game time, as Vermont came out of the locker room with a vengeance to begin the third period.
Just 15 seconds into the third, Vermont tied the game on a Mario Puskarich goal, then took the lead 1:56 later on a Tom Forgione snipe that beat Witt glove side in what proved to be the winning goal.
The Catamounts continued to build on that lead at 3:14 in the third when McCarthy scored his 10th goal of the year on a power play, then notched his 11th of the year in an empty net to end the game.
Madigan, despite the three goals allowed in the third, thought Witt played a solid game.
“If you look at their goals, their first goal was off a turnover on our blue line, they went two-on-one, second goal we found a shin pad, we seem to find a lot of shin pads and they had a two-on-one from the red line in, the third goal was on the power play,” Madigan said. “I thought they had a little more traffic, I thought we defended better at the net, but the goals were obviously all two-on-ones.”
Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon credited his team’s seniors for getting everyone ready to play after a tough loss Friday night.
“It’s the seniors, it’s the leaders, I think we have a different mindset this year,” Sneddon added, “The kids work so hard day in and day out; whatever we do I don’t think I’ve ever had to tell them to work harder.”
Sneddon was also pleased with his team’s ability to get traffic in front of Witt and make him earn his saves.
“We’re getting their; bottom line is the goaltenders in this league are outstanding,” Sneddon elaborated. “They’re going to make the first saves, so if you don’t have guys going to that area, it’s a game of inches, and sometimes that’s the difference between a win or a loss.”
Vermont improves to 12-8-3, while Northeastern falls to 14-7-3 on the season. The Catamounts will head down to Commonwealth Avenue next weekend to play Boston University at 7:00 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, while Northeastern will head to South Bend, Ind., to play a pair against Notre Dame.