BURLINGTON, Vt. - Mark Jankowski scored 76 seconds after the Catamounts had tied the game at two in the third period, and it stood up as the game-winner as Providence defeated Vermont 3-2 on Friday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Vermont drops its home opener and falls to 0-2-2 (0-2-2 HEA), while Providence wins its third straight game and improves to 4-2-1 (3-1-0 HEA).
Providence took the lead four minutes into the first period as defenseman Alex Velischek took a low wrist shot from the left point. Brody Hoffman made the initial save, but Derek Army crashed the net and poked it past the rookie to open the scoring. After a lengthy video review, the goal would stand.
In the second period, the Catamounts had the answer as a Tim Schaller penalty resulted in a lengthy 4-on-3 power play. Chris McCarthy held the puck along the goal line and dished the puck to Nick Luukko in the slot. Luukko faked a shot and fed Jacob Fallon in the right circle as he slapped a one-timer past Jon Gillies to tie the game at one.
Three and a half minutes later, Providence responded to retake the lead. Kyle Murphy touched a pass off the boards down the left wing to Brandon Tanev, who streaked into the Catamount zone. Tanev faked a pass to Army in the slot, deked to his backhand, and beat Hoffman with a low shot inside the right post.
Just 1:17 into the final frame, Kevin Hart was called for tripping to give the Cats their fifth power play of the night. Nick Bruneteau fired a one-time slap shot from the center point and Gillies made the initial save at the top of the crease. The rebound tapped off McCarthy's skate, and Connor Brickley touched in the loose puck at the right post to knot the score at two.
After a turnover in the offensive zone, Providence came back on a 3-on-2 to score the eventual game-winner just 1:16 later. Murphy fed Jankowski in the right circle and he whipped a shot toward goal. The puck tipped off a UVM defenseman and hit the crossbar, then came off Hoffman's back and trickled into the net at the 4:19 mark.
The Catamounts played the final 1:21 a man down after Luukko was called for tripping, but they pulled Hoffman and nearly tied the game on a Kyle Reynolds chance with two seconds left. Vermont finished the night 2-6 on the power play and a perfect 4-4 on the penalty kill. Hoffman made 24 saves in his fourth career start, while Gillies stopped 23 shots at the other end.
The Catamounts and Friars complete their two-game Hockey East series on Saturday (Nov. 3) at 7:05 p.m. at Gutterson Fieldhouse. All the action can be heard on WVMT 620-AM and online at SportsJuice.com, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m. A live video stream is also available for free via CatamounTV.
NOTES: Friday was "Jack Lyman Day" as the team dedicated the game to their new Team IMPACT teammate Jack Lyman, a 14-year-old from Shelburne, Vt. ... Jack was involved in a pre-game puck drop ceremony at center ice and his name appeared on the roster of the weekend program ... Team IMPACT is a non-profit organization which improves the quality of life for children across the northeast who are facing life-threatening illnesses ... Jacob Fallon picked up his first career goal in a Catamount jersey on Friday ... Tobias Nilsson-Roos skated in his 90th career game, while Chris McCarthy played in his 80th career contest ... Saturday night will mark the 50th all-time meeting between Vermont and Providence.