Durham, NH – It was a typical UNH-UVM hockey game, which saw very few chances. UNH scored first at six minutes, 22 seconds off the stick of Kevin Goumas, who got a pass into the slot from Matt Willows. The lead was shortlived, though, as UVM would score two quick goals 42 seconds apart at 10:11 and 10:53. UVM took the 2-1 lead into the second period. Late in the second stanza, Connor Brickley added to the lead on the power-play. The Catmounts entered the third period, leading UNH 3-1.
UNH turned the momentum early in the third period, as Brett Pesce wristed a shot from the point into the net to bring the game within a goal. But UNH would get no closer, as UVM smothered and scored two goals of its own in the period. Vermont picked up the impressive, 5-2 win over UNH on the road. Vermont improved to 14-3 overall and 6-7-0 in Hockey East. UNH falls to 16-14-1, 8-7-0 and misses its opportunity to move up in the league Standings or gain some distance. Vermont currently sits in seventh place in the standings with 16 points, two points behind second in the league while Vermont sits in seventh with 12 points. The loss will also hurt UNH in the Pairwise, while Vermont gains with games still to be played.
What I Saw
- It was a tale of two teams on this night. UNH had no energy, while UVM had all the energy in the world. The Catamounts won most of the puck battles and got the better of the opportunities. The score was 3-1 after two, but for the Catamounts there were plenty of opportunities to make that score more unreachable.
- UNH was never able to gain confidence in the first two periods and credit UVM because it played two great road periods, back to back. UNH was able to gain some momentum early in third on a Brett Pesce power-play goal but weren’t able to capitalize on the opportunities early in the third, as they were numerous. The MO for this UNH, though, has been a struggle to find the back of the net with many glorious opportunities. Although that wasn’t the case in the first two stanzas, it was early in the third.
What I Thought
- UNH played a hard fought two game set against Maine two weeks ago and another big conference set against Notre Dame last weekend. UVM had last weekend off and was able to rest. In all honesty, time off this time of year is huge and UVM certainly looked the part of a team that had rest. UVM was just two steps ahead of its opponent on this night.
- For UNH, the performance was dreadful at best. There was no energy in the building, there was no energy on the bench and more importantly none of the players had energy on the ice. Each team has games like this within a season and they are bound to happen, but for UNH this night was an opportunity last in terms of the standings and national tournament.
- This was my first time seeing Vermont this year and I was impressed at the way it was able to control the game from the opening faceoff. It manhandled UNH at times and the scoreboard showed it. Mentally they are sharp and it outwitted UNH for much of the game. Some of that may be the fact it had last weekend off but some it was probably gameplan and mindset. Tonight’s performance was nonetheless impressive.
What They Said
UNH coach Dick Umile said,
“I have no answers because tonight we were awful. I have no idea why we had no life and no zip. That was the worst I have seen us play in a long time.”
“Defensively last weekend we played well and tonight we stunk.”
I take responsibility because obviously we werent ready to play.”
UVM coach Kevin Sneddon said,
“We stuck to our gameplan quite well. We did a great job in some of there areas that we stressed. We scored some timely goals and got some goals in bunches, which doesn’t always happen for us.”
“I thought we were pretty crisp with our passing and we made plays. There is also things that we didn’t do well, which we will have to address. I thought they did beat us to the net a few times and our goaltender was pretty sharp to prevent some of those from going in. We will have to be better defensively tomorrow night but I felt we did some really good things offensively that was the difference for us.”
UNH captain Eric Knodel said,
“They just outworked us all night. we had no push-back for anything they came with. They brought a lot of pressure in their game. we struggled get the puck out of the zone, struggled to get the puck in the zone and struggled to keep it in their zone. Overall it wasnt our best game and we didn’t play very well. They just outworked us.”
UNH forward Kevin Goumas said,
“For the third period I felt that we started to play with a little more edge but at that time it was too late.”
What Else You Should Know
UNH and UVM will conclude the two game Hockey East set tomorrow night. For UVM, it will be looking for much of the same. For UNH it will be back to drawing board.