Boston, MA — The 2019-2020 season marks a curious transition point for the Vermont Catamounts. Head Coach Kevin Sneddon is in the final year of his contract and star goaltender Stefanos Lekkas is a senior. With major changes possible, UVM’s present has been bleak with the weakest offense in the nation and the last place in the Hockey East standings entering a weekend series with the Boston University Terriers. The first night went to the usual script. Sam Tucker pitched a shutout and BU won 3-0. On Saturday afternoon, the teams met again at Agganis Arena and Vermont finally broke their seven-game losing streak without getting their second win of the year and first conference win.
BU started the game on time with freshman center Sam Stevens scoring his first goal of the season 2:22 into the game. “Right place right time, I guess,” said Stevens, a freshman from Montreal, Quebec. Vermont’s offense awoke with some help from the whistles. Gabriel Chabot and Kasper Kotkansalo took major penalties near the mid-point of the frame and the Catamounts had a 5on3 power play for 4:02. Tucker and the Terrier defense mostly held firm, but Christian Evers tied the game on the two-man advantage.
Early in the second, Vermont took the lead with captain Derek Lodormeir scoring after a Case McCarthy roughing minor. BU roared back with two more tallies in the period. First, Sam Stevens cleaned up a loose puck in a scrum for his second goal of the game. Less than two minutes later, Evers took a tripping minor to allow a Terrier power play. David Farrance wasted little time and scored his 10th goal of the season for a BU lead.
The Terriers held their 3-2 advantage for the rest of the second and almost the entire third period. With a weekend sweep within their grasp, BU lost the lead in the final minutes. Alex Esposito corralled a loose puck in the crease and buried it to knot the game even at three apiece and force overtime. In that extra session, BU outshot UVM 3-0 and had a power play with 1:24 left, but no grand opportunities snuck through and the game ended in a 3-3 draw.
BU moves to 4-4-5 (3-3-4 HEA) on the season. “In general, we played a pretty good game when we were out of the penalty box,” commented Terrier Head Coach Albie O’Connell. “I thought we played hard. It’s just frustrating not getting that win with four minutes to go. We had four opportunities to get that puck out of our zone. We had one at the wall, and one in the corner. We turned one overthrowing it behind our net, and then we missed coverage going back to our net. It was tough.”
Sam Tucker stopped 34 of 37 shots.
Junior defenseman David Farrance is the leading goal scorer among defensemen with 10, four more than his nearest competitors. The Victor, NY, native sits in a two-way tie in second place for goal-scoring among all skaters with UMass’s Mitchell Chaffee. Providence’s Tyce Thompson, Northeastern’s Tyler Madden, and Northern Michigan’s Griffin Loughran all have 11 goals. He trails only Scott Perunovich of Minnesota-Duluth as the leading scorer among defensemen nationally by one point.
BU hosts Sacred Heart on Tuesday night. Puck drops at 7 pm ET at Agganis Arena against the Pioneers.
UVM goes to 1-8-1(0-6-1 HEA) for their first conference point of the season. “That was a really good college hockey game” Commented Coach Kevin Sneddon. “Certainly a better effort for us tonight than last night. Good for us to cash in on some power-play opportunities. Down 3-2, with no offensive confidence, it’s certainly nice to score that goal with under five minutes to go.”
Stefanos Lekkas stopped 32 of 35 shots faced.
Vermont travels west next weekend to face the Arizona State Sun Devils. Puck drops at the Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, AZ, at 10:05 pm ET, 8:05 pm MT, on both Friday night and Saturday night.