Burlington, Vt. -- Unheralded freshman Tom Forgione's breakaway goal in the third period proved to be the game-winner as Vermont defeated Clarkson, 3-2, in the second game of the Catamount Cup. Both Hockey East schools won on the first day of the showcase tournament at a sold-out Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Peter Massar gave the Catamounts the early 1-0 lead when he streaked down the right side with line mate Tom Forgione. The Williston native looked off Forgione and quickly wristed one past Clarkson goaltender Steve Perry.
A Clarkson turnover allowed Vermont to jump out to a 2-0 advantage before the midway mark of the first period. The puck squirted out in front to Mario Puskarich who slid it past Perry. Jake Fallon and Chris McCarthy assisted on the tally.
The Golden Knights were struggling to get much going and frustration was starting to mount. Top line center Ben Sexton clanged a shot off the post and several other attempts went just wide.
Clarkson finally jumped on the scoreboard during an extended two-man advantage. There were actually three players in the box for UVM when Jarrett Burton tipped a Sam Labreque shot down and past Vermont goaltender Brody Hoffman. The goal with just 53 seconds left in the second period gave Clarkson some momentum heading into the third period.
Tom Forgione provided Vermont with much needed insurance at the 12:59 mark of the third period. H.T. Lenz knocked the puck out of the defensive zone and past a Clarkson defender to send Forgione in all alone on Perry. The South Burlington native went to his backhand and slid the puck through the five-hole.
Jeff DiNallo drew Clarkson within one goal with 1:04 to play on a goal right after a face-off. Brody Hoffman made the initial save on Paul Geiger after Ben Sexton won the draw.
Clarkson could not score the equalizer even with some good chances under a minute to play. A slashing penalty to Sexton squashed any chance of a Golden Knight comeback.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.