BURLINGTON, Vt. - Five different Golden Gophers scored on Friday night and #4 Minnesota defeated Vermont 5-1 in its first-ever game at Gutterson Fieldhouse in non-conference action. The Catamounts fall to 2-6-2 (2-5-2 HEA) with the loss, while the Gophers improve to 8-2-2 (4-2-2 WCHA).
Minnesota opened the scoring roughly eight minutes into the first period off an odd-man rush. Seth Ambroz skated in the right wing faceoff circle, deked to his backhand, and slid a shot toward goal. The puck deflected off a Catamount defenseman and into the back of the net past Brody Hoffman.
Vermont had the answering tally at the 15:26 mark of the frame after a strong cycle in the offensive zone. Brett Bruneteau fired a weak angle shot of the side of the net, and Matt White picked up the rebound on the goal line. White whipped the puck back in front and Bruneteau tipped it home to beat Adam Wilcox as H.T. Lenz picked up the second assist.
Near the end of the frame, Minnesota went back on top after a turnover behind the Vermont goal. The puck was tied up on the back of the net and the Catamounts tried to poke it loose. After an unfortunate bounce, Kyle Rau pounced at the right doorstep and quickly snuck it into the net short side.
Vermont out-shot Minnesota 12-11 in the first period, but the Gophers began to take control of the game in the second. After a lengthy scrum in front of the UVM net on a Minnesota power play, Zach Budish fired a shot through traffic to extend the lead to 3-1 at the 2:26 mark.
10 minutes later, Nick Bjugstad stepped out of the penalty box as a Vermont power play expired and took an indirect feed from Nate Schmidt down the boards. Bjugstad skated in on a breakaway and beat Hoffman glove side with a low wrist shot. Minnesota added a fifth goal on a Mike Reilly wrist shot at 14:56 of the middle frame.
The Catamounts created a number of quality chances in the third period but couldn't get another puck past Wilcox, who made 22 saves to grab his seventh win of the year. Hoffman stopped 30 shots at other end, including 14 in the second period alone.
Vermont and Minnesota meet again on Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse to close out their weekend series. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports North and NESN at 7:05 p.m. Radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on WVMT 620-AM and SportsJuice.com, and a free live video stream is available through CatamounTV.