BURLINGTON, Vt. – Despite out shooting Michigan Tech 29-16 and a late goal by freshman Viktor Stålberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) No. 10 Vermont fell to MTU 2-1 in front of the 40th straight sellout crowd of 4,003 at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Saturday night.
Michigan Tech sophomore goalie Rob Nolan made 28 stops in the win to help give the Huskies a weekend sweep of the Catamounts. With the loss Vermont falls to 2-2-1 on the season while MTU improves to 3-1-0.
“From the process standpoint we were better tonight than we were last night,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “We had more scoring opportunities but we’re squeezing the sticks right now. We want to win so bad, especially at home, that I thought we fought ourselves a little bit tonight when we had those scoring opportunities and we just couldn’t put them away.”
With the game scoreless early in the second period and Michigan Tech on the power play, freshman Alex Gagne’s drop pass from the left circle set up freshman Phil Axtell for the first goal of the game. Gagne skated down the left side after gaining control of the puck at the Vermont blue line and found an open Axtell in the slot at 3:51 of the period.
Michigan Tech opened up a 2-0 lead at 12:56 of the second period when junior Peter Rouleau beat Vermont freshman goalie Mike Spillane (Bow, N.H.) with a backhander from the doorstep. The Catamounts had trouble clearing the puck from their own zone and Rouleau was able to take advantage for his second point of the weekend series.
Despite out shooting the Huskies 15-9 through the first two periods the Catamounts found themselves trailing 2-0.
The Catamounts would out shoot the Huskies 14-7 in the third period and finally found the back of the net with 2:15 remaining and an extra skater on the ice. Senior co-captain Kenny Macaulay (Baddek, Nova Scotia) blasted a shot from the right point and Stålberg redirected the puck in front past Nolan to pull Vermont within one goal. Junior co-captain Torrey Mitchell (Greenfield Park, Quebec) also assisted on the first goal of Stålberg’s career.
Vermont was unable to tie the game as Michigan Tech held on for the 2-1 victory. The Huskies improve to 3-1-1 in the all-time series against the Catamounts.
Spillane made 14 saves in his debut in net for Vermont. Both teams went 1-for-9 on the power play.
The Catamounts travel to Dartmouth next Sunday (Oct. 29) to take on the Big Green at Thompson Arena at 7:00pm. The game will be televised live on Adelphia Channel 74 and is a CN8 production. The game can also be heard live on the flagship station for Vermont hockey on WVMT-AM 620 and on the Internet by going to www.sportsjuice.com or www.uvmathletics.com.
GAME NOTES ... Vermont falls to 8-2-1 in October over the last two seasons ... Vermont’s first line tonight featured Colin Vock, Torrey Mitchell and Corey Carlson for the first time this season ... This weekend marked the first time Vermont has been swept in a home series since they lost a pair of games to Niagara at the ‘Gut’ in October of 2004.