#15 Cats stay unbeaten with win in home opener

Wednesday, February 7th

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Freshman Liam Limoges scored the first goal of the game before adding three more goals and an assist as he set a new career-high with five points in Vermont's 17-14 home victory over Sacred Heart.

The 15th-ranked Catamounts move to 7-0 on the season, matching the 1984 Catamounts with the best start in program history. The Cats also match the 1984, 1986, and 1993 teams with the longest win streak at any point of a season. Sacred Heart falls to 4-2 on the season.

"I am glad that we defended our home turf today against a high octane Sacred Heart team," head coach Chris Feifs said. "Our guys played the game in snowy conditions on short notice, but fought through and found a way to win."

In a wild opening 2:30 of play, Limoges scored a pair of goals for Vermont and Max Tuttle scored a pair of Pioneer goals. Ben French's first of the game in the stretch gave the Cats the early 3-2 lead.

Liam Rischmann got on the board to make it 4-2 Vermont. Braiden Davis assisted on two of the Catamount goals in the first quarter.

SHU's Julian Garritano scored the quarter's seventh goal off a pass from Joe Saggese to make it 4-3 at the end of the frame.

French added his second and Mark Marciano scored his second goal of the season in the opening two minutes of the second quarter to push Vermont's lead to 6-3.

Back-to-back Pio goals from Kevin Cop and a third from Logan Liljeberg tied the game at 6-6 with 6:26 remaining in the half.

Rob Hudson scored with 3:32 remaining in the half and Limoges completed the hat trick with 1:19 remaining to give Vermont an 8-6 halftime edge. Ian MacKay pushed his consecutive point streak to 53 straight games, the third longest streak in the country.

MacKay and Tuttle traded goals to open the third quarter, with Tuttle's third of the game coming 11 seconds after MacKay's goal.

Limoges scored his fourth of the game and Vermont scored the next five goals to end the third quarter with a 15-7 lead. French, MacKay, and Jack Knight also scored during the stretch, with junior Dawes Milchling adding a pair.

"I am proud of Liam and the toughness that he shows as a freshman scrapping for loose balls and being opportunistic," Feifs said of the Canadian freshman. "He is an integral part of our offense and will only expand his role as he gains more experience."

On MacKay's goal, a scrum in the SHU zone led to over six players congregating around the ball. As the ball shot towards midfield, Hudson ran it down and managed to knock the ball towards Limoges while diving. Limoges picked up the ball and found a wide open MacKay by the Sacred Heart cage, and the Port Elgin native uncorked a shot past Brooks Dutton.

MacKay's five points in the game pushes his career total to 199. His next point will make him the third Catamount in program history to record 200 points.

Sacred Heart outscored the Catamounts 7-2 in the final quarter, including five straight to end the game and to close the scoring gap. Hudson and Knight each added their second goal of the game for the Cats in the final quarter.

Nick Washuta played the first 47:37 of the game and made five saves. Ryan Cornell, stepping in net in relief, played the final 12:23 and made a pair of saves.

Vermont held a 32-21 shots on goal edge over the Pioneers and took a slight advantage on ground balls, 29-27. Collectively, the Catamounts went 20-for-36 at the X with Charlie Erdmann going 19-for-31. UVM was 1-for-4 on extra man opportunites while SHU was 3-for-7.

With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate another $100 to the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, bringing this year's total to 112 wins and $11,200.

The Catamounts take on the top-ranked Albany Great Danes next Saturday, Mar. 17 on the road. The St. Patrick's Day matchup is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in Albany.