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BURLINGTON, Vt. - Vermont senior goalie Joe Fallon (Bemidji, Minn.) made 31 saves, including 14 in the second period, and three different Catamounts scored goals in a 3-2 victory against No. 16 UMass-Lowell in Hockey East action at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Sunday afternoon in a game televised on ESPNU. UVM is 3-1-2 in its last six games and improved to 7-10-7 overall (6-6-5 HEA). UML dropped to 12-9-4 (7-7-4 HEA).
Senior Reese Wisnowski (East Middlebury, Vt.), junior assistant captain Peter Lenes (Shelburne, Vt.) and sophomore Viktor Stalberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) each scored for Vermont.
Sophomores Ben Holmstrom and Kory Falite each registered a goal and an assist for the River Hawks.
"We knew it was going to be this kind of game," Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said of the gritty victory. "Lowell does a tremendous job of keeping the puck to the outside and pressuring you. It makes it really tough for our defensemen to make clean plays on the break out. But I thought our guys did a great job of being poised and using the chip pass. I thought we were smart for most of the game."
Wisnowski put the Catamounts in front 1-0 when he snapped a wrist shot from the left circle at 2:32 of the opening period past UMass-Lowell sophomore goalie Carter Hutton. It was the first goal for Wisnowski since he notched the game winner at Niagara on Oct. 25, 2005. Freshman Chris Atkinson (Sparta, N.J.) and sophomore Jonathan Higgins (Stratham, N.H.) each assisted on the play.
"I've talked about that line for the last four, five games," Sneddon said. "All we need them to do is shut down lines but when they can contribute something that's fantastic."
When asked what it was like to be rewarded with his name in the box score Wisnowski said, "It's a good reward to get a couple of points up on the score sheet. But we work hard and we don't need any rewards on the score sheet. Coach gives us a good pat on the back."
Vermont took a 2-0 advantage when junior co-captain Dean Strong (Mississauga, Ontario) setup Lenes for a breakaway at 5:03 of the second period. Lenes used a backhander to beat Hutton for his team-high seventh goal of the season. Freshman Kevan Miller (Los Angeles, Calif.) also assisted.
UMass-Lowell cut the deficit in half on a power-play goal by Holmstrom at 8:22 of the second.
Stalberg gave Vermont 3-1 lead at 12:34 with his third goal in the last five games. Sophomore Brian Roloff (West Seneca, N.Y.) fed Stalberg streaking down the slot for the score. Freshman Wahsontiio Stacey (Kahnawake, Quebec) also assisted.
The Catamounts stopped back-to-back River Hawk power plays over the last four minutes of the second to maintain their two-goal lead. Fallon turned away a total of eight shots from the UML power play in the period.
The River Hawks pulled within 3-2 on Falite's 11th goal of the season at 10:49 of the third period. He redirected a shot by freshman Patrick Cey from the right point.
UML would get no closer despite out shooting Vermont 24-12 in the final two periods.
Hutton, who entered the game with the nation's seventh best goals against average, finished with 18 saves.
Vermont went 0-for-3 on the power play while UML went 1-for-3.
Vermont returns to action next weekend with a two-game series at No. 13 Providence on Friday (2/8) and Saturday (2/9). Both games are 7:00pm starts. The Friars won this season's first meeting 4-0 at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Dec. 1.
NOTES: Today's game was televised on ESPNU and was the ninth TV game for Vermont this season ... Former Catamount Derek Wagar '05 made his debut as an analyst on the WVMT radio broadcast ... UVM leads the all-time series against UMass-Lowell 9-8-1 ... Vermont is 5-5-4 at home this season while UMass-Lowell is 1-5-3 on the road ... Viktor Stalberg had a team best eight shots for the Catamounts.