Freshman forward Anthony DeCenzo had two goals and an assist for the Catamounts
ORONO, Maine - Vermont scored four first period goals and defeated the University of Maine 7-2 in men's ice hockey action on Friday night at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine. Anthony DeCenzo and Jack Downing each had a pair of goals for Vermont, while Theo Andersson (Gothenburg, Sweden) and Gustav Nyquist (Malmo, Sweden) tallied goals for the Black Bears. Maine falls to 11-10-6 on the season and 8-8-4 in Hockey East play. Vermont improves to 7-15-5 overall and 5-11-4 in conference play.
Vermont jumped out to a 1-0 lead 4:17 into the first period. Sebastian Stalberg had a shot Maine goalie Dan Sullivan (York, Pa.) saved, but the rebound lay in the crease and Chris McCarthy shot it past Sullivan. The Catamounts added to their lead less than three minutes later. Kyle Medvec carried the puck down the ice and around the goal. His initial shot was saved by Sullivan, but he collected his own rebound and beat Sullivan to extend the lead to 2-0.
Downing extended the lead to 3-0 when he received a pass from Drew MacKenzie in the slot and wristed the puck past Sullivan at 14:41. Chris McCarthy also assisted on the goal.
Maine got on the board less than three minutes later. Matt Mangene (Manorville, N.Y.) carried the puck along the far boards. He then found Andersson alone in the slot and he fired a shot past Vermont goalie Rob Madore for his first goal of the season. Mike Cornell (Franklin, Mass.) also assisted on the goal.
Vermont answered right back, this time against Maine goalie Martin Ouellette (St.-Hippolyte, Quebec). Ouellette was able to stop the initial shot, but the rebound came right to DeCenzo just outside the crease. He fired it into the back of the net to extend the Vermont lead to 4-1.
The team traded second period goals. Maine pulled to within two goals with a short-handed tally by Nyquist. Ryan Hegarty (Arlington, Mass.) collected the puck in the defensive zone and made a long pass out to Nyquist. He controlled the puck from center ice to the middle of the face-off circle where he eluded a Vermont defender and had his shot go just below the cross bar. For Nyquist, it was his 11th goal of the season.
Vermont answered back this time less than a minute later when DeCenzo scored his second of the night, when he collected a lose puck after the initial shot on goal was stopped. Nick Bruneteau and Tobias Nilsson-Roos each assisted on the goal.
Vermont added two third period goals to make it a 7-2 final. Matt White, who had three assists in the game, had a shot that Ouellette turned aside, but the puck went right to Sebastian Stalberg to the left of the crease. He found the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season. Vermont capped the scoring when they stole the puck behind the Maine goal and Downing stuffed it home for his second of the game and 10th of the season. White and Stalberg each assisted on the play.
Maine finished the game with a 39-25 edge in shots on goal. The Black Bears were scoreless on eight power play chances, while Vermont was 3-for-6 with the man advantage.
Maine goalie Sullivan made six saves while allowing three goals in 14:41. He falls to 5-5-1 on the season. Ouellette made 11 saves in 35:19, while Shawn Sirman (Blezard Valley, Ontario) played the final 10:00. He stopped one shot.
Rob Madore made 37 saves in goal for the Catamounts. He improves to 7-15-5 on the season.
Prior to the start of the game, former Hockey East Commissioner and Maine Athletic Director was presented a prestigious Hockey East Founders Medal.
The Black Bears and Catamounts finish their two-game Hockey East series on Saturday, Feb. 12. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM and tickets can be purchased at the door.