BURLINGTON, Vt. - Vermont collected points from 16 different skaters and got a look at all three goaltenders as they defeated the U.S. National University Team 7-1 Wednesday at Gutterson Fieldhouse in a mid-season exhibition game.
Connor Brickley lead the Cat attack with two goals and an assist, while Sebastian Stalberg and H.T. Lenz each tallied a goal and an assist.
Vermont opened up the score sheet at 6:06 of the first period when Anthony DeCenzo controlled the puck through the left circle, then laced a pass to Lenz who wasted no time firing a shot past U.S. goaltender Erik Hudson. Brett Leonard picked up an assist on the play.
Brickley extended the lead to a pair as UVM took advantage of its first power play opportunity. Brickley collected a rebound off of a Dan Lawson attempt and calmly tossed wrist shot on net that beat Hudson at the 7:59 mark. Matt Marshall was credited with an assist on the play.
Tobias Nilsson-Roos gave the Catamounts a 3-0 lead at 6:03 of the second frame when he threw a puck from the bottom of the left circle across the crease. A U.S. defender was caught off guard as the puck deflected off of his back and in the net. Matt White and Nick Bruneteau were each credited with an assist on the play.
Brickley scored his second goal of the game at 14:40 of the second period when he blasted a shot through traffic that beat Hudson high glove side. Chris McCarthy and Josh Burrows recorded assists on the play.
"We did some good things offensively," coach Kevin Sneddon said. "I thought we were a little rusty in our own zone, but that is normal coming off a break and only having one real practice."
The U.S. National squad got on the board at 15:51 of the second period when Kevin Kranker sent a low shot through traffic that beat John Vazzano who had relieved Rob Madore midway through the second frame. Tom Ciraverilla assisted on the play.
Leading 4-1 heading into the third period Vermont was determined to not let the U.S. gain any more ground as Jack Downing fought off a few defenders and placed the Catamounts fifth goal of the evening in the net at 4:53 of the final frame. Dan Pyne who finished the game in net for team USA turned aside a number of opportunities before Downing was able to skate freely through the crease and take advantage of an un-cleared puck. Wahsontiio Stacey and Stalberg each earned assist on the play.
Drew MacKenzie extended the Catamount lead to 6-1 at 10:19 of the third period when received a pass from Lenz and skated from the left to the right circle with the puck before firing a wrist shot past the glove of Pyne.
Stalberg gave the Green and Gold their final tally of the evening with just under two minutes remaining as he put home a rebound, blocker side past Pyne. Kevan Miller fired a shot on goal from the point and it was deflected in front of the net where Stalberg was waiting. Brickley picked up an assist on the play.
"I was really impressed with them, they are a group of guys who are obviously very proud to put on that sweater and represent their country in the University games," said Sneddon.
Vermont's record is not affected by the exhibition game. The Catamounts return to action when they host Ohio State at 7:05 p.m. Saturday in the second game of the Catamount Cup. Army and Harvard will kick things off at 4 p.m.
NOTES The U.S. National University team is compiled of elite players among the ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association) which is made up of 420 teams across the country ... The exhibition games for team USA are preparation for the 2011 Winter World University Games, which are held Jan. 27- Feb. 6, in Erzurum, Turkey ... Check back tomorrow on www.UVMAthletics.com for game highlights.