BURLINGTON, Vt. - Fourth-ranked Minnesota scored twice in 70 seconds early in the second period and held off a third period charge from Vermont for a 3-1 non-conference victory on Saturday at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts fall to 2-7-2 (2-5-2 HEA) with the loss, while the Golden Gophers move to 9-2-2 (4-2-2 WCHA).
Vermont and Minnesota played a scoreless first period, as the Catamounts killed off a 5-on-3 power play for 65 seconds near the midway point of the frame. Less than four minutes into the middle frame, the Gophers struck twice to take the lead.
The Catamounts turned the puck over to Kyle Rau in their defensive zone and he centered a pass to Ben Marshall. The defenseman deked his way to the right doorstep and centered to Tom Serratore, who poked the puck home for a 1-0 Minnesota lead at the 2:49 mark.
Roughly a minute later, Travis Boyd charged down the left wing in transition and fed linemate A.J. Michaelson in the left faceoff circle. Michaelson one-timed a quick shot through traffic and beat Brody Hoffman glove side for his first career tally.
Vermont called its timeout after the second Minnesota goal and weathered the storm, but it trailed 2-0 heading into the final frame. The Catamounts then grabbed a goal back within the first five minutes of the third to cut the deficit in half.
Chris McCarthy curled into the slot and fired a wrist shot on goal as Adam Wilcox made the initial save. The loose puck hit Yvan Pattyn's skate and squirted to Jacob Fallon at the top of the crease, and the sophomore slid a shot through Wilcox's five hole to get the Cats on the board.
UVM created several chances down the stretch and pulled Hoffman with just over a minute left, but Minnesota grabbed an empty-net goal from Nate Condon with 54 seconds left to clinch the win. Hoffman made 30 saves for the second straight night, while Wilcox stopped 26 shots for his third consecutive win.
The Catamounts return to Hockey East play next weekend as they travel to Orono to face the Maine Black Bears on Friday (Nov. 30) at 8 p.m. and Saturday (Dec. 1) at 7 p.m. Both games from Alfond Arena can be heard live on WVMT 620-AM and online at SportsJuice.com. The Friday night game will also be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.
NOTES: Senior defenseman Anders Franzon skated in his 100th career game on Saturday ... Minnesota was making its first-ever trip to Gutterson Fieldhouse this weekend ... UVM played its first two non-conference games of the season this weekend after nine straight league games to start the year ... Yvan Pattyn picked up his first career point with an assist on the Vermont goal ... The Catamount penalty kill has killed off 36 of the last 40 power plays it has faced after a 5-5 showing on Saturday.