ORONO — The University of Vermont men’s hockey team relied on a late-third period push Friday night in front of 4,004 fans at Alfond Arena.
Robert Polesello’s game-winning goal at the 7:44 mark of the final period provided the Catamounts with a 2-1 win over the Black Bears.
Catamounts' forward Chris McCarthy skated across the blue line along the left board with the puck. As McCarthy reached the top of the face-off circle, a Maine defense stepped forward to stop him. McCarthy slipped a pass by a defender and through the slot to a streaking Polesello who quickly roofed a shot over the right shoulder of Maine goaltender Martin Ouellette.
“They [Maine] made a change and the defender was late coming over,” said Polesello. “McCarthy made a great play, and I just tried to fire it over his glove far side. I thought I had hit the crossbar at first, but then I saw it go in.”
Vermont improves to 3-7-1 (3-5-2 in Hockey East) with the win. Maine falls to 2-10-1 (1-6-1 in Hockey East).
“We’ve got to give all the credit to Vermont,” Maine senior tri-captain Joey Diamond said. “They played a great game, and their goalie was great.”
The Catamounts' victory Friday night was their first road win of the season. Maine remains winless at home following the loss.
“It was a hard-fought game, but there’s not much to be said to be honest,” Maine head coach Tim Whitehead said. “It’s disappointing. Each one of the guys has to look to improve his game for tomorrow night.”
Vermont carried the pace of play to start the game as the Catamounts peppered Maine with shots and used their speed to run a quick breakout, which effectively countered the Black Bears' attack and created odd man rushes.
The Black Bears relied on strong goaltending from Ouellette to keep the game tied at zero in the first. He turned away 14 Catamounts shots.
Vermont outshot Maine 14-10 in the period.
Maine captured the momentum late in the first period on the power play. Joey Diamond netted the unassisted goal that provided the Black Bears with a 1-0 lead at the 16:53 mark of the first period.