Burlington, Vt. – A dominating opening 10 minutes led host Vermont to a 6-2 victory against the Canisius College hockey team on Sunday night at the Catamount Cup. The loss drops the Griffs to 5-10-1 on the season, while the Catamounts improve to 10-6-1
“It was a tough weekend on the scoreboard but there are quite a few positives to take out of it,” said Canisius head coach Dave Smith. “We knew going into a difficult non-conference schedule that we had to be patient and positive and then apply those characteristics to league play. Now, we need to ramp up our play in conference and build confidence for Holy Cross next weekend.”
Senior Duncan McKellar and freshman Shane Conacher both scored for the Griffs in the loss.
Junior Keegan Asmundson recorded a career-best 40 saves in defeat, while sophomore Adam Harris stopped 15 shots in his first collegiate appearance.
The Catamounts came out strong and didn’t look back after three goals in the first 9:14 of action. Chris McCarthy opened the scoring, netting a rebound just 54 seconds into the contest. Pete Massar then scored seconds after a full two minutes of 5-on-3 action for the Catamounts, tallying a goal at the 7:13 mark before Mario Puskarich finished the run 9:14 into the period.
Overall, Vermont outshot the Griffs, 19-1, in the first 13 minutes of action before Canisius was able to get in the game.
McKellar got the Griffs on the scoreboard with his first tally of the season with 6:14 remaining in the first. Junior Carl Larsson sent the puck back to McKellar on the blue line and the defender fired a shot in for the 3-1 score. Junior Braeden Rigney also recorded an assist on the Griffs’ first goal of the contest.
The Catamounts extended their lead in the second frame, connecting on a power play just with 8:03 left in the period. Michael Paliotta scored off a faceoff victory for a 4-1 lead through 40 minutes of action. Vermont added another tally when Matt White finished a 2-on-1 rush with 12:54 remaining in the game for a 5-1 advantage.
Conacher added his second goal of the season with 2:01 left in regulation, finishing a 3-on-2 rush. Junior Mitch McCrank found Conacher trailing on the rush and the rookie finished his chance for the 5-2 score. Senior Kyle Gibbons also registered an assist on the tally.
The Catamounts then finished the scoring with just 1.7 seconds remaining in the game when Jake Fallon scored on a breakaway.
Vermont finished the game with a 61-28 advantage in shots. The Catamounts were also 1-for-3 on the power play, while killing all three Canisius extra-man chances.
Canisius returns to Atlantic Hockey play next weekend with a pair of games at Holy Cross. The schools are set to open the series in Worcester, Mass. on Friday at 7:05 p.m.
Game Notes: The schools were meeting for the first time … Canisius is now 0-7-2 all-time against Hockey East schools … Asmundson surrendered more than three goals in a game for the first time in eight career starts … Asmundson’s previous career high was 37 saves at sixth-ranked Miami on Nov. 1 … The Griffs allowed more than 50 shots in a game for the first time since an overtime victory against Air Force in the 2013 Atlantic Hockey Quarterfinals (3/16/13) … Canisius last allowed 60 shots in a game in a 3-1 loss to Miami on Oct. 14, 2006.