Men’s Hockey Falls to Vermont 3-1; Winning Streak Snaps at Five

University of Vermont defenseman Adam Roof notched a goal and two assists to help the Catamounts hand the MIT men’s ice hockey team its first loss of the season, 3-1, in NorthEast Collegiate Hockey Association Conference A East Division action on Saturday night in the Johnson Ice Rink. The loss snapped the Engineers’ season-opening five-game winning streak.

Despite the loss, the Cardinal and Gray still stands at an impressive 5-1-0 overall and 3-1-0 in the NECHA. It is the second consecutive year in which MIT has started the season with five consecutive wins before dropping its sixth game of the schedule to a division opponent.

Vermont, which has won four games in a row after a rough start, improved to 6-7-2 overall and 3-2-0 in the NECHA.

Sophomore forward Mike Ursiny put the Catamounts ahead midway through the opening period with his team-leading 12th goal of the season. Defenseman Nick Ulrich was credited with the primary assist, while fellow blue-liner Roof picked up the secondary helper.

Forward Nicholas R. LaBounty ’09 evened the score at one apiece with just eight seconds remaining in the first period, and Ryan W. Ballentine ’09 and Riley E. Brandt ’11 were credited with assists. The tally gave LaBounty a team-high eight goals on the season to go along with eight assists for a team-best 16 points, while Ballentine’s assist was his 11th on the season, good for the team lead. Brandt, meanwhile, secured his first-ever intercollegiate point with his helper.

The score remained deadlocked for the majority of a tightly contested second period, but Roof’s goal with just 1:17 remaining in the period broke the stalemate and proved to be the ultimate game-winner. Ursiny was credited with the lone assist on the tally.

Roof turned provider once again to give the Catamounts an insurance goal with 9:15 left in the contest, feeding senior Jon Lashure for his first score of the season.

Thomas A. Hopkins G stopped 30 shots between the pipes for the Engineers, while senior net-minder Luke Brind’Amour made 29 saves for Vermont.

MIT will travel to Smithfield, R.I. for its final game before the winter hiatus, as the Engineers take on Bryant University today at 8 p.m.