The University of Vermont's defense, ranked 12th nationally, trumped St. Lawrence University's offense, ranked fourth nationally as the Catamounts skated to a 4-1 win over the Saints at Gutterson Field House in Burlington on Saturday.
The Saints couldn't sustain an offense against Vermont and the Catamounts held the Saints scoreless in three attempts and limited SLU to a total of 24 shots on goal. While Vermont, now 8-5-1, had only 23 shots, they made them count, scoring five times to hand the Saints, 8-9-2, their fourth straight loss.
While the Saints had their share of chances in the first period, outshooting Vermont 11-7, the Catamounts came out of the first 20 minutes with the lead. Defenseman Michael Paliotta scored the game's first goal on a power play bomb from the point just 26 seconds into the game's first man-advantage.
It went to 2-0 at 13:49 as Vermont turned things around after a great sequence for the Saints offensively. Connor Brickley made an outlet pass under pressure and Jon Turk broke down the far board, eluding a check before sliding the puck past Saint goalie Tyler Parks at 13:49.
The Saints were right back into it when Greg Carey made a great move to get open in the center slot and gunned his 13th of the season in off the post with Justin Baker and Chris Martin assisting just 52 seconds into the second period, but Vermont regained its two goal lead when defenseman Nick Bruneteau scored his third of the year on a wraparound at 17:39.
The Catamounts made it a 4-1 lead when Chris McCarthy got away from the Saint defense deep in the SLU zone and cut across the front of the goal mouth, tucking home a backhander for his fifth of the year and UVM iced it with an empty net goal as H.T. Lenz scored on the backhand from his own defensive zone with 3.7 seconds left on the clock.
Brody Hoffman finished with 23 saves for the Catamounts, many of them from long distance, while Parks sustained his first collegiate loss, making 18 saves.
The Saints are now off until they meet Vermont again, this time in Canton on Jan. 7.