Dean Strong scores game-winner for Catamounts

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Vermont sophomore Dean Strong (Mississauga, Ontario) scored the game-winning goal with 3:47 to go in the third period on the power play to lift the Catamounts to a 2-1 victory over No. 9 Boston University in front of the 42nd straight sellout of 4,003 at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Strong’s team high sixth goal of the season gave the Catamounts their first win over the Terriers in nine tries dating back to October of 1999. With the victory Vermont improves to 4-4-1 on the season and 2-1-1 in Hockey East while BU falls to 2-2-4 and 2-2-3 in league play.

“I think the guys have confidence now in those tight games,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “It started with Providence a little bit and certainly again tonight where we can win those tight games. That’s a big difference in terms of confidence for the guys. Anytime you go up against BU it’s playoff hockey. It was another great college hockey game and we were fortunate to capitalize on the power play.”

All six of Strong’s goals have come on the power play this season and Vermont is 17-4-3 over the last two seasons when the sophomore records at least one point. Freshman Brian Roloff (West Seneca, N.Y.) also had a power-play goal in the win for the Catamounts.

Boston University junior Ryan Weston scored on a drive from the right point just 82 seconds into the game to give the Terriers a 1-0 advantage.

With the Catamounts trailing 1-0 and on the power play, Roloff scored the first goal of his career to tie the game at one. The freshman knocked in a rebound off a deflection by senior assistant captain Chris Myers (South Boston, Mass.) at 7:34 of the first period. Junior assistant captain Mark Lutz (Stevens Point, Wis.) also assisted on the goal as he fired in the initial shot from the left point.

The game remained 1-1 going to the third period with the Catamounts out shooting the Terriers 19-17 through the first 40 minutes.

With 4:31 remaining in the game BU freshman Eric Gryba was whistled for a tripping penalty when Vermont senior Dan Owens (Clinton, N.Y.) came open and was dragged to the ice. Vermont took advantage when Strong scored with 3:47 to play in the third period. Senior Ryan Gunderson (Bensalem, Pa.) and junior co-captain Torrey Mitchell (Greenfield Park, Quebec) each assisted on the goal that gave Vermont a 2-1 lead.

Vermont junior goalie Joe Fallon (Bemidji, Minn.) made 21 saves to pick up the win. BU senior John Curry made 22 stops in the loss.

The Catamounts went 2-for-5 on the power play while BU went 0-for-3.

The Catamounts return to action on Saturday when they take on Merrimack at Gutterson Fieldhouse at 7:05pm. The first 1,000 fans will receive hats courtesy of the American Red Cross.

GAME NOTES: Tonight’s game was the second of eight Vermont men’s hockey games that will be televised on CN8 this season ... The Catamounts will appear on TV a minimum of 17 times this year ... Dean Strong’s six power-play goals are tops in Hockey East this season ... The Catamounts are 3-2 against ranked opponents on the year.