Hockey East roundup: Vermont, UMass win in tournament action; UML comes back

Vermont 6, Princeton 3
For the third time in five years, the Catamounts captured their own trophy, scoring five of the last six goals in the contest en route to an easy victory over the visiting Tigers at Gutterson Fieldhouse. 11 different players recorded at least one point in the victory as UVM scored five unanswered tallies to close 2012 with a bang. Freshman Robert Polasello and senior Brett Bruneteau were named to the Catamount Cup All-Tournament Team, while fellow freshman Jacob Fallon posted another goal and an assist to earn Most Valuable Player honors. With another assist, sophomore Kyle Reynolds now has six points in his last four games to pace the Catamount offense. Mike Ambrosia and Andrew Calof each had multiple points in defeat for the Tigers, but rookie Brody Hoffman was too tall in net with 20 saves for his sixth win. UVM now leads the all-time series by a 38-14-2 count and has won four straight over the Tigers, dating back to before the teams split from the same conference in 2005. After capturing the Cup for the fourth time ever and competing for the title for the sixth time in the last eight years, UVM welcomes Merrimack back to Burlington for a league contest next Saturday on CBS Sports Network.

Massachusetts 4, Bemidji State 3
The Minutemen rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the first period with three goals in the second period and never looked back, stealing a one-goal victory in the opening game of the Ledyard National Bank Classic at Thompson Arena in Hanover, N.H. Ten members of the Mass Attack registered at least one point in the contest, including two assists from junior Branden Gracel and the first-collegiate (and game-winning) goal from classmate Zack LaRue at 9:01 of the final stanza. UMass sophomore Kevin Boyle stopped 17 of the 20 shots he faced against the Beavers as he improved to .500 on the season at 6-6-2. In defeat, BSU senior Brance Orban led the attack with a goal and an assist. The Minutemen improved to 6-9-2 with the victory and will face Dartmouth in the tournament title game on Monday night, while the Beavers face No. 2 New Hampshire.

Dartmouth 4, New Hampshire 1
The No. 10 Big Green scored twice in the first period and cruised along to the title game of their own Ledyard National Bank Classic, defeating in-state rival and the No. 2 Wildcats at Thompson Arena. UNH used a goal from senior Austin Block for some momentum in the first minute of the second period, but first-collegiate strikes from Nick Bligh and Ryan Bullock were too much for the Wildcats to overcome as they faced Dartmouth for the first time in Hanover since 2000. Sophomore Casey DeSmith made 27 stops for UNH, including 13 in the first period, falling to 10-3-2.

Minnesota 8, Boston College 1
A night after capturing a historic victory for coach Jerry York, the Eagles were flat from the outset as the host Golden Gophers captured the Mariucci Classic title for the 13th time in 22 years with an astounding triumph to improve to 12-3-3 on the season. The hosts scored the first seven goals of the game, bouncing BC senior Parker Milner from the cage after making 25 saves in 44:13, and were led by a two-goal, two-assist effort from Nick Bjugstad. The game marked the first time the Eagles allowed eight goals in a game since falling at UMass-Lowell, 8-4, on Jan. 12, 2002. Senior Steven Whitney scored the lone Eagle goal at 13:40 of the final period, beating tremendous rookie Adam Wilcox (32 saves). The Eagles return to Kelley Rink to face

UMass-Lowell 3, Bentley 2
In a wild and wacky hockey game at Tsongas Center, the River Hawks jumped from behind in the final five minutes to topple the Atlantic Hockey foe Falcons for the fifth time in as many all-time meetings between the two programs. With the victory, the Red, White, and Blue jumped to the .500 mark (7-7-1) for the first time this season. After the nation's leading scorer Brett Gensler beat UML junior Doug Carr just 3:33 into the contest, the home team scored three of the next four in the game for their third victory in a row, including a pair from rookie Ryan McGrath. The Missouri native now has three goals and five points in his last three games, dating back to a 2-0 win over Northeastern on Dec. 8. After allowing the early goal, Carr settled in and posted 24 saves in his fourth victory. UML returns to action next Friday night as they open a two-game set at Clarkson - their first action against the Golden Knights since 2004.

Union 4, Merrimack 1
Freshman Brian Christie's goal at the midpoint of regulation was all the offense the Warriors could muster as the No. 14 Dutchmen successful achieved revenge from an early-season home loss in Sunday's Catamount Cup opener at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Sophomore Daniel Ciampini netted the game-winning goal for Union with 6:30 remaining in the final period as he beat strong Warrior sophomore Rasmus Tirronen (26 saves) for the second of four unanswered scores to conclude the game. The Warriors, which return to action in Burlington next Saturday night for a match-up with host UVM, lost only their second game since 2009 when entering the third period with a lead as they were previously 48-1-3 in that scenario.

Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.

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