BURLINGTON, Vt. - Vermont used goals from five different players and held No. 9 Northeastern to just 18 shots on the way to a 5-2 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 4,003 at Gutterson Fieldhouse in Hockey East action on Saturday night. The Catamounts improved to 5-9-6 (4-5-4 HEA) with the win while the Huskies dropped to 11-6-3 (8-5-2 HEA) with just their second loss in the last 15 games.
Junior assistant captain Corey Carlson (Two Harbors, Minn.), sophomore Viktor Stalberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) and junior assistant captain Peter Lenes (Shelburne, Vt.) each scored at even strength. Sophomore Brayden Irwin (Toronto, Ontario) added Vermont's first short-handed goal of the season and freshman Wahsontiio Stacey (Kahnawake, Quebec) scored on the power play.
Freshman defenseman Drew Muench scored twice for Northeastern.
The Catamounts matched a season-high with five goals and remained unbeaten in 34 straight games when scoring at least four times.
"I thought we got better and better as the game went along and played a really smart hockey game," Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. "It was fun to see."
Senior goalie Joe Fallon (Bemidji, Minn.) made five saves in the first five minutes for the Catamounts to keep it scoreless early on. Fallon finished with 16 stops and earned his first win since Nov. 20 in a 4-2 victory against No. 10 Massachusetts.
Carlson gave the Catamounts a 1-0 lead 6:08 into the first with a goal just inside the right circle. Northeastern sophomore goalie Brad Thiessen (27 saves) tried to stick a shot by Dean Strong (Mississauga, Ontario) into the corner but the puck went right to Carlson with an open net in front if him for the score. Sophomore Patrick Cullity (Tewksbury, Mass.) also picked up his first assist of the season on the play.
Stålberg used his speed to give Vermont a 2-0 cushion at 10:22 of the opening period. He circled behind the net and stuffed the puck in at the right post. Freshman Kyle Medvec (Burnsville, Minn.) picked up the first assist of his career on the play.
After a scoreless second period the two teams combined for five goals in the final 20 minutes.
Northeastern cut the deficit in half just 32 seconds into the third on a power-play goal by Muench.
Vermont came right back with a score by Lenes at 7:25 to make it 3-1. Lenes blasted a shot from the left circle that beat Theissen and proved to be the game-winner.
"The game is made of ups and downs and we didn't get down when they scored right off the bat in the third," Lenes said. "We knew there was a full period left and we just kept grinding it out."
The Catamounts opened up a 4-1 advantage on a short-handed goal by Irwin at 9:30. Sophomore Colin Vock (Plymouth) setup the score with a perfect pass during a 2-on-1. Freshman Kevan Miller (Los Angeles, Calif.) also assisted.
Muench scored shorthanded for his second goal of the game at 14:50 to pull the Huskies within 4-2.
Stacey answered with a power-play goal for the Catamounts with 61 seconds left to complete the 5-2 victory.
Vermont earned three Hockey East points on the weekend with a win and a tie against Northeastern. The Catamounts are just four points out of fourth-place in the league standings with 14 games remaining.
"The guys were individually accountable and everybody can look themselves in the mirror and say they gave it their all for 125 minutes," Sneddon said. "I'm very proud, but more importantly, they should be proud of themselves and proud of each other for what they accomplished together."
Vermont returns to action next weekend at Massachusetts on Friday (1/25) and Saturday (1/26) at the Mullins Center. Both games are 7pm starts. The Catamounts won this season's first meeting 4-2 at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Nov. 20.
NOTES: Vermont is 5-1-3 against Northeastern since joining Hockey East ... Only No. 5 New Hampshire and No. 11 Boston College have fewer losses than Vermont in Hockey East play ... Joe Fallon is 6-1-2 with a 1.31 goals against average in his career against the Huskies ... Brayden Irwin's short-handed goal was the first for the Catamounts since Torrey Mitchell had one at St. Lawrence last season (Dec. 16, 2006) ... Irwin finished with a team-high five shots ... Patrick Cullity notched two assists in a game for the first time in his career ... Viktor Stålberg's goal was his first since Nov. 17 ... The Catamounts are 4-0-2 when leading after two periods this season ... Both teams went 1-for-5 on the power play.