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Monday, Sept. 15, 10:41 a.m.
Sports

Vermont beats UMaine men’s hockey 3-0 to take back last postseason spot

Haley Johnston

The University of Vermont Catamounts’ trio — junior forward Chris McCarthy, freshman defenseman Caylen Wells and sophomore forward Kyle Reynolds — worked together to score all three goals on Saturday night as UVM topped the University of Maine Black Bears 3-0 in Burlington, Vt.

McCarthy was involved in all three scoring plays for UVM, tallying three points on the night with two assists and one goal. Reynolds scored two goals for two points and Wells had an assist in both Reynolds goals.

UVM freshman goaltender Brody Hoffman saved 19 shots on the night for the Catamounts.

The Black Bears went to the box six times in the game for 12 minutes and only fired off one shot on goal in the second period. With 1.71 goals per game, UMaine is last place in Hockey East, UMaine’s 14.3 penalty minutes per game put them as the only team behind Boston University.Despite letting three pucks slip past him, UMaine junior goaltender Martin Ouellette did have a solid performance, with 29 saves in the game.

UMaine did have five power-play chances in the game, but their success this year in converting power-play opportunities into goals has been dismal this season. Despite having  133 power-play opportunities — the most out of any team in Hockey East this season — the Black Bears have only converted 13 this year. This translates to a conversion rate of 9.8 percent, which is good for last in the league.

The first period provided little action in terms of scoring and penalties, and it remained relatively quiet until the last minute of the second period. With 48 seconds to play in the period, UVM’s McCarthy and Wells assisted Reynolds to score his first of two goals in the game, putting the Catamounts on top, 1-0.

Reynolds didn’t wait too long in the third period to extend the UVM lead. McCarthy and Wells teamed up again to assist Reynolds 4:00 into the third period, giving the Catamounts a 2-0 lead.

Four minutes later, UMaine freshman defenseman Ben Hutton committed a slashing penalty that put UVM on the power play.

It only took McCarthy 30 seconds to take advantage of Hutton’s mistake, scoring the lone power-play goal of the night, 8:30 into the third period, to finish off the scoring and give the Catamounts a 3-0 victory.

Senior forward Joey Diamond and junior forward Mark Anthoine were the offensive leaders for UMaine. Each had three shots on goal. Diamond also lead the Black Bears in penalty minutes with four.

After defeating the University of Massachusetts-Lowell 4-3 in overtime last week to gain a playoff spot, the Black Bears have given it back to the Catamounts with the loss. UVM now has 14 points in the standings and a tie-breaker with the Black Bears. UMaine has 13 points in the standings, and Northeastern University sits two points behind with 11. Four weeks remain in the season.

UVM and Northeastern play each other twice this upcoming weekend in a crucial series that will have implications on UMaine’s playoff standing, while UMaine has a home series against the No. 13 Boston University Terriers. BU currently sits fourth in Hockey East with 21 points but has gone 1-3-1 in their last five games.

The first matchup between Black Bears and Terriers is scheduled for Friday Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. The game will air on NBC Sports Network. The Saturday Feb. 16 game starts at 7 p.m. and will air on NESN. Both games will be played at Alfond Arena.