BURLINGTON, Vt. - Senior John Muse made 38 saves and sophomore Chris Kreider scored the game winner in the second period as No. 7 Boston College rallied to defeat Vermont 3-2 in Hockey East action at a sold out Gutterson Fieldouse on Friday night. Junior Rob Madore turned away 39 shots but the Catamounts lost to the Eagles at home for the first time in seven games (4-1-2).
Senior Wahsontiio Stacey (Kahnawake, Que.) scored his team leading sixth goal of the season while sophomore Chris McCarthy (Collegeville, Pa.) added a power-play goal for Vermont (0-4-3, 0-3-2 HEA)
Freshman Bill Arnold recorded the first goal of his career and junior Cam Atkinson notched his team-high seventh goal of the season for the Eagles.
"I'm very pleased with so many aspects of the way we played tonight," Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. "We asked our team to play with pace knowing that we had to compete against a very fast team. I thought we looked like the quicker team at times and they played great, we played really well; it was a great college hockey game."
"We've got to put this one away as much as it hurts. I think we've got a team in that locker room that believes they can beat that team and BC's an excellent hockey club."
It was the Catamounts who struck first, 59 seconds into the opening period. Junior defenseman Drew Mackenzie (New Canaan, Conn.) found Sebastian Stalberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) in the slot and he took two quick shots, but Muse made back-to-back pad saves. McCarthy found the rebound near the front of the crease and buried it for his second goal of the year.
Boston College (6-3-0, 4-2-0 HEA) tied the game at 3:53 when Arnold tucked in a rebound at the right post. Defenseman Isaac MacLeod blasted a shot from the point off target and the puck ricocheted off the end board to Arnold for the score.
The Catamounts regained a 2-1 lead when Stacey took a hard wrist shot from the top of the left circle and beat Muse on the blocker side at 10:16. Stalberg and MacKenzie both earned their second assists of the game on the play.
Atkinson tied the game for the Eagles 2-2 at 5:39 of the second period with a power-play goal. Brian Gibbons passed it to Paul Carey from behind the net. Carey received the puck near the goal line and one-touch passed it to Atkinson, streaking down the slot for the goal.
Boston College took the lead for good at 17:33 of the second on Kreider's third goal of the year. Brian Dumoulin dumped the puck around the boards from the left point and Pat Mullane took control behind the net. He quickly fed Kreider in the low slot for the score.
Vermont's best chance to tie the game came just over five minutes into the final period. Senior assistant captain Jack Downing (New Canaan, Conn.) slipped behind the BC defense and ripped a shot from the right circle that rang off the left post. The Catamounts out shot the Eagles 17-8 in the final 20 minutes but couldn't find the equalizer.
"There's a level of frustration," Sneddon said. "You work so hard for something and you don't have anything to show for it. It's hard not to be frustrated and we're in it with them. It's not a coach versus player thing here, we're all hurting a little bit; but what can you do? The thing we're teaching our guys here is if you get knocked down you get right back up and things don't always go your way so you've got to stick together and keep doing what we're doing knowing that at some point it's going to turn."
Vermont and Boston College meet again on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. The game will be televised on WCAXtra.
"I wish we could play right now," Wahstontiio Stacey said. "Saturday, it's almost like a must win kind of thing and that's what we're focused on and like you said it would give us a lot of confidence with one win. I really think it would bring more wins our way because we've all got to believe and once we get that first win - off we go I think."
NOTES: Check back to www.UVMathletics.com for game highlights and postgame comments from Kevin Sneddon and Wahsontiiio Stacey ... Stacey had a team best nine shots ... Vermont was 1-for-3 on the power play while BC was 1-for-4 ... The Eagles lead the all-time series 25-11-4.