BURLINGTON, Vt. - Sergio Somma tallied the game winning goal 2:09 into the third period and Ohio State was able to hold on to the lead as they defeated Vermont 3-1 in the opening night of the Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup on Saturday in front of a sold out crowd at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
After 25 minutes of scoreless hockey, Vermont struck first as Wahsontiio Stacey tallied his team leading ninth goal of the year at 5:00 of the second period. Sebastian Stalberg started the play as he miss fired on a shot from the slot. Nick Bruneteau collected the puck, spun and dumped the pass to Stacey who was trailing the play. Stacey stuck a shot in top shelf past Cal Heeter. Stalberg and Bruneteau share the teams lead with assists with eight a piece on the year.
Vermont's lead was short lived as captain Kevan Miller took a penalty at 5:49 of the second period for interference, followed by an Anthony DeCenzo penalty 30 seconds later for tripping. With the Cats on a 5-on-3 disadvantage, the Buckeyes capitalized as Danny Dries fired a slap shot from the top of the right circle over the glove of Rob Madore at 6:50 of the second frame.
C.J Severyn was ejected from the game, penalizing the Buckeyes with a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct at 11:26 for illegal contact to the head. Vermont was unable to score during the five-minute man advantage.
Ohio State found itself on another 5-on-3 advantage at 1:29 of the final period as Dan Lawson and Chris McCarthy were called for penalties eight seconds apart from each other. Sergio Somma collected his team leading 11th goal of the season as he stuffed a puck past Madore in a scrum in front of the net. The officials went to the booth to review the play and determined it was a goal at 2:09.
The Catamounts pulled Madore late in the third period for an extra skater. After a few bids, Dries was able to notch an empty net goal for the Buckeyes to put any hopes of a dramatic Catamount comeback out of reach.
Vermont combined for a total of 16 penalty minutes and went 0-3 on the power play including the five-minute mand advantage.
"We were rusty this week in practice on the power play and it showed in the game," said head coach Kevin Sneddon. "I don't necessarily always agree with the calls but I thought that was the difference in the game," Sneddon said. "We had a glorious opportunity with the 5-minute power play but I don't know if we got more than one or two shots worth anything. The tale of the game was penalties that cost us."
Madore turned aside 33 shots for the Catamounts who fall to 2-10-4 on the year, while Heeter finished the night with 24 saves between the pipes for Ohio State (9-8-1).
Vermont returns to action Sunday when it faces Harvard in the final game of the tournament at 7:05 p.m. at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Ohio State takes on Army in the first game Sunday at 4 p.m. A champion will be determined based on Win-Loss-Tie record. If a tiebreaker is necessary further steps will be taken to determine a champion.
All Catamount Cup games can be seen on WCAXtra, as well as CatamountTV on a pay-per-view basis ($4.99). Vermont games will be broadcasted on WVMT-620 AM and on the Internet at SportsJuice.com.
The Buckeyes had not played a game in over 20 days, while the Catamounts had an exhibition game Wednesday against the U.S. National University team ... The Buckeyes head coach Mark Osiecki did not travel with the team, as he is an assistant coach with the U.S. Junior National team who is competing in the IIHF World Junior Championship games in Buffalo ... The Catamounts have won their home holiday tournament the last two seasons and have advanced to the championship game of the Catamount Cup in five straight seasons ... Check back tomorrow on www.UVMAthletics.com for game highlights.