|1st||2:40||UMA||1-0||EV||Mario Ferraro (4)||John Leonard/15, Niko Rufo/9|
|1st||9:53||UMA||2-0||EV GW||Jake Gaudet (7)||Brett Boeing/8, Mario Ferraro/18|
|2nd||4:53||VER||1-2||EV||Matt O'Donnell (8)||Craig Puffer/9, Travis Blanleil/2|
|2nd||9:38||UMA||3-1||EV||Austin Albrecht (5)||Ivan Chukarov/6|
|2nd||12:42||UMA||4-1||EV||Oliver Chau (9)||Mitchell Chaffee/10, Jake Gaudet/6|
|3rd||13:09||UMA||5-1||EV||John Leonard (12)||-|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Stefanos Lekkas (L, 10-19-6)||59:54||5||9||12||4||25|
|Ryan Wischow (W, 8-6-0)||60:00||1||10||6||14||30|
AMHERST, Mass. - University of Massachusetts hockey used five goals from five different freshmen to knock off Vermont, 5-1, in the deciding game three of the teams' Hockey East Opening Round series on Sunday afternoon at the Mullins Center. With the win, the Minutemen move on to face Northeastern in the Hockey East Quarterfinals next weekend and improve to 17-18-2 on the season. The Catamounts end the year with a record of 10-20-7.
"First of all, that was a really good hockey series," said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. "Vermont played hard and I think tonight the difference was that we came out in the first period and played the way we needed to. We weren't able to do that in the first two games. To get the 2-0 lead instead of being down 2-0 was a major difference. I really liked everything about our first period. Vermont made a nice push back in the second period; we were able to neutralize it for the most part. That third goal by (Austin) Albrecht was a huge goal. But our team's common goal this year was to gain some respect for this hockey program and I think we've far exceeded even my hopes for this season. To get home ice and then win a series, we're now in uncharted waters as far as projections for this year."
Freshman Mario Ferraro opened the scoring just 2:40 into the contest. Redshirt senior Niko Rufo skated the puck into the Vermont zone and set up a John Leonard chance where Ferraro picked up the rebound at the doorstep and netted his fourth of the season with a wraparound.
The Minutemen quickly went up 2-0 in the first with freshman Jake Gaudet collecting a pass from junior Brett Boeing and Ferraro in the neutral zone and driving in on Catamounts' netminder Stefanos Lekkas for the tally at the 9:53 mark.
UVM cut its deficit in half 4:53 into the second period. Matt O'Donnell cleaned up a rebound from Craig Puffer and Travis Blanleil to bring the Catamounts back to within a goal.
However, UMass responded by adding two more in the stanza. Albrecht gave the Minutemen back the two-goal cushion at the 9:38 mark, collecting a pass from junior Ivan Chukarov and firing it past Lekkas.
Freshman Oliver Chau made it 4-1 Minutemen 12:42 into the third, putting home a loose puck from freshman Mitchell Chaffee and Gaudet amidst a scramble in front of the UVM net.
Leonard then capped the scoring for UMass with an unassisted highlight reel goal 13:09 into the third that brought the score to 5-1.
Vermont finished the contest with a 31-30 shot advantage and went 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Minutemen were 0-for-2. Sophomore Ryan Wischow made 30 saves in net for UMass, while Lekkas stopped 25 for the Catamounts.
With the team's first postseason series win since 2007, the Minutemen now move on to the Hockey East Quarterfinals, playing a best-of-three at No. 2 seed Northeastern, beginning with game one next Friday, March 9, at 7 p.m. in Boston at Matthews Arena.