BURLINGTON, Vt. The St. Lawrence University mens hockey team hit a defensive wall at Vermont on Saturday night.
The Saints were held to their lowest offensive output of the season in a 5-1 loss to the Catamounts in a nonconference game on Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
St. Lawrence (8-9-2), which entered the weekend as the fourth best offensive team in the nation, was dealt its fourth consecutive loss and slipped below the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Vermont (8-5-1), which was ranked No. 12 in the nation in defense, recorded its fifth consecutive victory and second straight over the Saints.
The Saints suffered their fifth loss in their past seven games and their seventh setback in their last nine games.
St. Lawrence, which entered Saturday with the nations top-ranked power play, went scoreless on three man-advantage opportunities against Vermont, marking just the fifth time it hasnt scored a power-play goal in a game this season.
Michael Paliotta and H.T. Lenz each tallied a goal and an assist to spark Vermont. which struck for two goals within the first 14 minutes of the game.
After Paliotta scored at 9:37 on Vermonts first power play, Jonathan Turk followed with his first goal of the season at 13:49 to build a 2-0 advantage.
The Saints drew within 2-1 on Greg Careys goal 52 seconds into the second period.
But Vermont answered as Nick Bruneteau scored with 2:21 remaining in the middle period.
Chris McCarthy provided the Catamounts with a 4-1 lead with his goal 14:02 into the third and Lenz capped the scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:56.
Goalie Brody Hoffman stopped 21 of 22 shots for the Catamounts.
Freshman netminder Tyler Parks made 18 saves on 22 shots for St. Lawrence as he was dealt his first collegiate loss in three starts.
The Saints are now off until the new year when theyll host Vermont on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m.