Special teams help UMaine men’s hockey team complete sweep of Vermont

The University of Maine’s Andrew Tegeler (right) battles for the puck against University of Vermont’s Craig Puffer during their hockey game at Alfond Arena in Orono on Saturday. Buy PhotoUniversity of Maine goaltender Matt Morris makes a save against University of Vermont during their hockey game at Alfond Arena in Orono Buy PhotoUniversity of Maine players celebrate scoring a goal in Saturday’s Hockey East game against the University of Vermont at Alfond Arena in Orono. Buy PhotoWill Merchant (right) of the University of Maine defends against Vermont’s Alexx Privitera during their hockey game at Alfond Arena in Orono on Saturday. Buy PhotoThe University of Maine’s Steven Swavely (left) moves the puck around Vermont’s Yvan Pattyn during Saturday’s hockey game at Alfond Arena. Buy PhotoDan Renouf (right) of the University of Maine slides while clearing the puck against University of Vermont during their hockey game at Alfond Arena in Orono on Saturday. cheap jerseys Buy PhotoORONO, Maine Inconsistent special teams play had been a reason for the University of Maine men’s hockey team’s 0 8 3 start.But special teams came through big time for the second straight game and the result was a 4 1 Hockey East win over Vermont on Saturday afternoon that completed a weekend sweep at Alfond Arena.Maine won 3 2 on Friday night and had the game’s only power play goal on Saturday.Shorthanded goals just 12 seconds apart in the first period by Cam Brown and Steven Swavely erased an early goal by Brady Shaw, and Nolan Vesey scored his first goal of the season on the power play at the 16:22 mark.In addition to the two shorthanded goals, the Black Bears held the Catamounts scoreless on seven power play chances and they have killed off 32 of the last 34.Brady Campbell added an empty net goal and Matt Morris turned in a stellar 35 save performance as Maine improved to 2 8 3 overall, 2 4 0 in Hockey East.Mike Santaguida made 16 saves for Vermont (3 8 2, 2 4 2 HE), which had entered the weekend with nine wins in the previous 10 games against Maine.”We had to shut down their time and space [with the puck] and limit their playmaking ability on the power play,” said junior center Brown. “We had to force them down the wall. We had success doing that.””They were aggressive. You definitely have to give credit to their penalty kill,” said UVM junior right wing and leading scorer Mario Puskarich. . “They come at you hard. They don’t give you a lot of time [with the puck]. And we were trying to make that perfect play. We were looking to make the extra pass instead of keeping things simple and getting pucks through.”So we didn’t get a lot of Grade A opportunities,” added Puskarich, who has seven goals and two assists in 10 career gamesUVM had just eight shots on goal during its seven power play chances.Brown tied the game by capitalizing on a two on one with Blaine Byron after Dan Renouf started the play in motion.Byron lugged the puck down the right wing and patiently waited for the UVM defenseman to sprawl out to try to block the pass before slipping the puck across to Brown.”Blaine pulled it to his backhand and made an unbelievable pass. I had an empty cage and I tapped it in,” said Brown who had gone 10 games without a goal.Will Merchant’s pass set up Swavely’s breakaway goal 12 seconds later which snapped the Maine captain’s 20 game goal drought dating back to last season.Swavely pulled the puck over to his backhand side and tucked it between Santaguida’s pads as he was getting his stick whacked by a UVM backchecker.”All the credit in the world goes to Red [Maine coach Gendron] and his staff and student athletes,” said UVM coach Kevin Sneddon. “They played a great weekend. They were desperate and hungry and certainly made our power play look inept. It was an absolute disaster and I’ll take the blame for that because I make the decisions on who’s out there on the special teams at we had the wrong players out there this weekend.”