It sure as hell wasn’t pretty.
First off, I hope all the neutrals watching on ASN were entertained, because I think both sides of fans had about ten heart attacks during that game. That’s two national TV games we’ve been on, and both games featured both teams hitting 4 goals. (Notre Dame, take warning.)
So let’s run through the goals:
First one, Colton forces the turnover, then Puskarich beats Adam Huska with a backhander; looked to me from the student section that it was banked in. I rate Huska, and think he’s a talented keeper, but he did not have a good night tonight.
Next came the second UVM goal. Puskarich had the puck, fed Matt Alvaro with a beautiful backhand pass, and Alvaro merely has to tap it in. It’s 2-0 and the Gutt is going crazy. (Let’s be real – there’s more of a home ice advantage when the students are in, and the fact that there were more home games over break than there are the rest of the year is very agitating. But I’m a biased student so…)
Third goal comes off a turnover. Colton forces a horrible pass by a Husky defender, Coughlin intercepts, then feeds Privitera for a beauty of a one-timer. It’s 3-0 now, and Huska is pulled for Rob Nichols.
That seems to light a fire in UConn, because they got two goals in 46 seconds. First goal was Tage Thompson (who had a monster game) on a deflection in front. He came in really late trailing the play and I don’t think anyone knew he was there. Second was on the power play, Karl El-Mir had his own area code to bury the puck and cut the lead to one. (Seriously, this “turning 3-goal laughers into 1-goal nailbiters” nonsense is getting really old.)
Cats answered back with a power play goal of their own. Brady Shaw drifted out to the center point and took the shot, Brian Bowen tipped it past Nichols. 4-2 and we could breathe a bit easier…
…until early in the third. Three on two for UConn and Thompson unleashes a beauty wrister past Lekkas. 4-3 now and it’s drama again.
The odd man rush goals continued with about 5 minutes to go, Colton sending it across to Alvaro who buries it to restore the two goal cushion.
But don’t start the #icebus just yet, because with less than 90 seconds to go and the Huskies net empty, Lekkas goes on a puckhandling adventure, winds up turning it over, scrambles, and Maxim Letunov buries a rebound to make it 5-4. Huskies almost got an equalizer, but almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Some thoughts & factoids:
-Kevin Sneddon was not behind the bench tonight. He had the flu.
-I’m going to bold it so that the team can read it: this “turning 3-goal laughers into 1-goal nailbiters” nonsense is getting really old.
-The St. Louis Blues have themselves one heck of a player in Tage Thompson. His size and skill set caused problems for a very small UVM defense.
-Cats now sit alone in third in HE thanks to Lowell taking an L against Providence. River Hawks have a game in hand.
-In the Pairwise, UVM remain in tenth. The vicinity has seem some changes: Lowell dropped from fifth to eighth with their loss to the Friars, while North Dakota dropped two spots after Minnesota Duluth beat the Fighting Hawks tonight. Harvard won, Cornell drew. The real loser is Notre Dame, who tumbled down to 20th after tying UNH and seeing basically everyone near them win.
The Vermont Hockey Blog Three Stars of the Game:
3. Ross Colton (UVM) – Four assists tonight…and I sat him in fantasy. I should be fired for that. (Although Dominik Shine had a hatty against Anchorage tonight! #Redemption)
2. Tage Thompson (UConn) – This guy is a problem for a team with a small defense. Or any defense. Shooting, skating, passing, size, it’s all there. This is an NHL player.
1. Matt Alvaro (UVM) – Two goals. One of which was the game winner. (That’s also four points in his last three.)