Cats advance to America East title game

Thursday, May 3rd

ALBANY, N.Y. - Ian MacKay scored five goals and passed Craig Mygatt '88 for the most career goals in program history as the Vermont Catamounts doubled up the Stony Brook Seawolves on Thursday to advance to the America East Championship.

UVM advances to the AE title game for the second time in three years, and have set a new program record with 12 victories in a single season.

"I am really proud of the guys today for a tough, gritty win against a really tough Stony Brook team," head coach Chris Feifs said. "We really put a lot of emphasis on finishing games this week and having a better fourth quarter, and I felt like we did a good job of that. Obviously the performance by Nick and the performance by Ian today really put us over the top."

Stony Brook's Mike McCannell and MacKay traded goals in the first 18 minutes of the game, each scoring a pair of goals. Wayne White and Jack Walsh assisted on the Stony Brook goals, respectively, while MacKay's pair went unassisted.

Chris Pickel Jr., the double overtime hero from the Long Island matchup, gave the Seawolves a 3-2 lead with 2:58 remaining in the half.

Feifs called a timeout with 1:57 remaining in the half to set up the Vermont offense. Just 45 seconds later, MacKay fed Braiden Davis in front of the net for the equalizer, and the Cats would not trail again.

Nick Washuta made seven saves in the opening half while his Stony Brook counterpart, Michael Bollinger, tallied six stops.

The Catamounts held a slight edge in shots (17-16) while the Seawolves had the advantage in ground balls (11-9) and faceoffs (4-3). Each team had five turnovers in the opening 30 minutes.

Ben French scored the lone goal of the third quarter at the midpoint with 7:30 remaining on the clock. The sophomore has now scored in 17th straight games, the ninth-longest active streak in the nation.

The fourth quarter began with Vermont clinging to a 4-3 lead. Liam Limoges potted his 25th of the season to make it 5-3 with 14:12 remaining in the fourth. Less than a minute later, MacKay scored on an EMO to push the lead to 6-3.

MacKay struck again to make it 7-3 Vermont with 8:56 left in regulation. White, who assisted on Stony Brook's first goal of the game, scored with 8:10 left to cut the lead back to three.

The Vermont defense locked down the Stony Brook offense for the remainder of the game, preventing the Seawolves from offensive possessions. The UVM squad forced six Seawolf turnovers in the final quarter, and none more important than captain James Leary's caused turnover with 4:26 left.

Washuta recorded nine stops in the second half to finish the game with 16, his fourth straight game with double-digit save and eighth of the season. The Catamount defense also held the Seawolves to a 1-for-5 mark on man-advantages. Vermont was 1-for-2 on EMOs. Charlie Erdmann went 8-for-15 at the X.

Vermont will face host Albany in the America East Championship game. The game will begin at 12 p.m. on Saturday (May 5) and will air on ESPNU.

--- Courtesy: UVM Sports Information