Hildenbrand's Two Goals Lead Massachusetts Past Vermont, 6-3
Sophomore forward Niko Hildenbrand posts two goals for Minutemen

Sophomore forward Niko Hildenbrand scored two goals for the Minutemen
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 11:19  UMA1-0 SH Jake Gaudet (4)Cale Makar/9, Mario Ferraro/7
1st 12:16  UMA2-0 SH Niko Hildenbrand (5)Mario Ferraro/8, Josh Couturier/6
1st 12:28  VER1-2 PP Rob Darrar (1)Matt O'Donnell/6, Craig Puffer/6
3rd 3:55  UMA3-1 EV Niko Hildenbrand (6)John Leonard/9, Jake McLaughlin/6
3rd 5:38  VER2-3 EV Christian Evers (2)Liam Coughlin/3, Jarrid Privitera/7
3rd 8:42  VER3-3 EV Trey Phillips (1)Conor O'Neil/4, Travis Blanleil/1
3rd 15:46  UMA4-3 EV GW Jack Suter (3)Brett Boeing/3, Josh Couturier/7
3rd 18:27  UMA5-3 SH EN Cale Makar (3)George Mika/5, Mario Ferraro/9
3rd 19:55  UMA6-3 EV EN Austin Plevy (2)Brett Boeing/4
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd Final
Massachusetts  2046
Vermont  1023
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd SOG
Massachusetts  15121138
Vermont  1171634
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Massachusetts (10-9-1)  0/1 6/12 3
Vermont (4-14-4)  1/5 2/4 0
Massachusetts Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Ryan Wischow (W, 7-3-0)60:003 1071431
Vermont Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 Saves
Stefanos Lekkas (L, 4-13-3)58:404 1312732
Empty Net1:202     

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Trey Phillips registered his first goal of the season to tie the game in the third period, but Jack Suter's tip with 4:14 left broke a 3-3 tie as UMass added a pair of empty-netters for a 6-3 Hockey East win on Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

UVM drops to 4-14-4 (1-8-4 HEA), while the Minutemen advance to 10-9-1 (4-5-1 HEA) and snap their 11-game winless streak against the Catamounts.

The Minutemen took the lead just past the midway point of the first period on back-to-back shorthanded goals on 2-on-1 rushes. Jake Gaudet beat Stefanos Lekkas (32 saves) high glove side from the left wing, and Niko Hildenbrand followed by going high short side from the right circle a minute later.

UVM called timeout and before the penalty expired, the Catamounts capitalized on the power play to cut the lead in half. Jarrid Privitera skated the puck into the offensive zone and found Matt O'Donnell alone in the high slot. The sophomore defenseman quickly dished a pass to Rob Darrar, who buried a backhand from the top of the crease to beat Ryan Wischow (31 saves).

UMass had the most notable chance in the middle frame as Brett Boeing neared the Catamounts' goal on a partial breakaway. The forward tried to tuck a backhand shot around Lekkas, but the UVM netminder stretched across with his left pad to deny the opportunity.

Niko Hildenbrand's second of the night came at 3:55 of the third period to put the Minutemen up 3-1. Lekkas tried to follow a loose puck along the right side of the net, but UMass regained possession and threw the puck in front where it deflected into the net.

Chrisitian Evers brought the Catamounts back to within one with 14:22 left in regulation on a wrist shot from the point. Vermont controlled the puck in the UMass zone with the teams skating 4-on-4. Liam Coughlin dished a pass back to Evers who took a step toward the goal before firing a shot through traffic.

Vermont tied it up before the midway point of the third period on Phillips' first goal of the year. The senior defenseman collected the rebound on a shot from Conor O'Neil and out-waited Wischow before flipping a forehand shot over the sophomore goaltender for the equalizer. Travis Blanleil was credited with the secondary assist on the score.

UMass restored the lead with 4:14 left on the clock on a deflection by Suter. Brett Boeing collected the puck in the high left slot and fired a shot along the ice for Suter, who redirected the puck between the pads of Lekkas.

Cale Makar and Austin Plevy sealed the victory for the Minutemen on empty-net goals in the final minutes of the contest.

Vermont returns to action next Friday (Jan. 19) and Saturday (Jan 20) as it hosts UMass Lowell to close a four-game homestand. Both games between the Cats and River Hawks are scheduled to face off at 7:05 p.m. in Gutterson Fieldhouse.