UMass blanked by Vermont


AMHERST, Mass. -- With a chance to score a decisive sweep and secure sole possession of second place in Hockey East, the University of Massachusetts came up empty.

Vermont salvaged a split of the weekend series with a 3-0 win over the Minutemen, handing UMass its first shutout loss of the season. The Catamounts (12-8-2, 6-7-2 Hockey East) received a goal and an assist from Wahsontiio Stacey and 31 saves from Rob Madore.

Paul Dainton made 16 saves in goal for UMass (15-9-0, 10-7-0), who will travel to Boston on Friday for a matchup with Boston University.

The loss leaves UMass tied with Boston College for second place in the conference, behind New Hampshire.

Massachusetts outshot Vermont 31-19 for the game, while the Minutemen were 0-for-9 on the power play and 0-for-11 during the weekend. The Catamounts were 1-for-5 on the man-advantage with 18 penalties called between the teams.

Vermont took a 1-0 lead with 7:29 left in the first period when Drew McKenzie scored his first goal of the season with Vermont on the man-advantage. After taking a pass from Stacey, McKenzie took a low shot from the point that appeared to hit something on its way through traffic before getting by Dainton for the score.

The Catamounts got a goal from Stacey in the eighth minute of the second period to give Vermont a 2-0 lead. Chris McCarthy controlled the puck along the boards to the right of Dainton before threading a pass across the crease to a waiting Stacey at the backdoor for the tip in.

Vermont's Colin Vock tallied an empty net goal with 20 seconds remaining in regulation to ice the game.