BURLINGTON, Vt. - Led by three unanswered goals in the second period, 16th-ranked Lake Superior State came back from 2-0 down to beat Vermont 5-3 on night one of the annual Sheraton/TD Bank Catamount Cup on Thursday at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts fell to 3-13-1 (1-9-1 HEA) with the loss, while the Lakers improved to 12-7-2 (7-6-1 CCHA).
"I thought we played both the first and third period with some really good hockey, our first period might have been one of our best of the year," said head coach Kevin Sneddon. "We made some really foolish mistakes in the second period to either take us off the power play or go down 4-on-4. We're a pretty fragile team and the guys have to realize that one of those key moments can really turn things around, and it did. I was disappointed that we had those lapses in the second period."
Vermont stormed out to the lead in the first period when its top line combined on the game's opening goal. Sebastian Stalberg fed a pass to Matt White in the right faceoff circle, and the sophomore dished it across the slot to an open Colin Markison. The freshman fired a one-timer over the shoulder of Kevin Kapalka into the upper right corner to give the Catamounts a 1-0 advantage. It was the first goal of Markison's UVM career.
Roughly 10 minutes later, another rookie capitalized to double the lead. Nick Bruneteau tipped the puck to Mike Montagna at the Vermont blue line, and he led a pass down the left wing boards to Kyle Reynolds. The winger skated toward the left circle, dragged the puck back into a shooting position, and wristed a quick shot which beat Kapalka blocker side to the far past.
Lake Superior began its comeback in the second period as Brooks Herrington and Andrew Perrault were called for matching minors to create a 4-on-4. Just 15 seconds in, Colin Campbell curled around the Vermont goal and centered a pass to Kellan Lain in the slot. Lain blasted a one-timer past Madore to make it 2-1. Less than two minutes later, Kyle Haines buried a loose puck in front of the net at the left doorstep to tie the game at two.
Later in the second period, the Catamounts went shorthanded for the fourth time in game after Mike Montagna was called for tripping. Haines hit Campbell with a pass down the right wing boards inside the UVM zone, and Campbell quickly sent the puck across the slot. Fred Cassiani was waiting at the far post to tap it into the open goal to give the Lakers their first lead of the night.
Vermont couldn't find a way past Kapalka in the third period and pulled Madore for an extra skater with 2:15 left in regulation. The Catamounts earned an offensive zone faceoff but couldn't control the puck, and Domenic Monardo sent Nick McParland in alone down the middle of the rink for an empty-net goal to make it 4-2.
Lake Superior added another empty-netter from Kyle Jean with 1:29 left after Madore was pulled a second time in a comeback effort. The Catamounts grabbed a goal back late on the power play as Drew MacKenzie sent a shot off a Laker defenseman and into the net at the 19:29 mark. Stalberg and Nick Bruneteau each picked up their second assists of the night on the play.
Both teams finished the night 1-4 with the man advantage, while Lake Superior State outshot Vermont by a 33-28 margin. Kapalkla stopped 25 shots in the LSSU net for this 11th win of the season, while Madore made 28 saves between the pipes for Vermont in a losing effort.
"Tonight he (Madore) gave us every opportunity to win that hockey game and that's the Rob Madore we know and love," said Sneddon. "I thought that was his best 60 minute effort of the year."
Led by 23 saves from goalie Shane Madolara, R.I.T. shut out No. 11 Ferris State 3-0 in the early game on day one. The Tigers improved to 9-6-2 (7-4-2 Atlantic Hockey), while the Bulldogs dropped to 11-7-1 (7-6-1 CCHA) with the loss. R.I.T. takes on Lake Superior State tomorrow at 4 p.m. before Vermont faces Ferris State at 7:05 p.m. on day two of the tournament.
The UVM game will be televised on WCAXtra, and the action can also be heard on WVMT 620-AM and online at SportsJuice.com. Alastair Ingram and Joe Gervais '88 have the call with pre-game coverage starting at 6:30. Live video for both contests is available for free via CatamounTV at UVMathletics.com.
NOTES: Check back to UVMathletics.com for CatamounTV highlights and post-game reaction ... Matt Bruneteau, the brother of Brett Bruneteau and Nick Bruneteau, is a sophomore defenseman for Lake Superior State ... Tonight's game marked the eighth all-time meeting between the Catamounts and Lakers; The last meeting came ten years ago on Dec. 28, 2001 in the Catamount Cup ... UVM is now 10-4-1 in its annual holiday tournament under head coach Kevin Sneddon ... Vermont has won two of the last three Catamount Cups and has played for the title on day two in five of the last six years ... With two assists tonight, Sebastian Stalberg now has four multi-point games in his last six contests ... Matt White played in his 50th career game tonight and picked up an assist ... Colin Markison became the sixth different player to score his first goal in a Vermont jersey this season.