By Tom Morelli/Ferris State Beat Writer
Ferris State went into the Catamount Cup looking for an extra holiday gift or two, but instead were only able to unwrap a lump of coal.
Special teams proved to be the downfall for the Bulldogs, who surrendured two power-play goals against RIT in the opener, followed by another three against host Vermont on Friday night.
On Thursday, Ferris State was unable to muster any offense, losing a 3-0 decision to Atlantic Hockey's RIT.
The Tigers took advantage of a holding call against the Bulldogs early on, with Chris Saracino sneaking the puck past goaltender Taylor Nelson for his first of the campaign.
Later in the frame, Mark Colavecchia tallied an even-strength goal to make it 2-0 RIT after 20 minutes of play.
At the 5:19 mark of the second period, the Tigers notched another goal while on the man-advantage, with this one coming courtesy of Adam Hartley.
Cameron Burt had an assist on all three goals for RIT.
Earning the shutout victory for the Tigers was Shane Madolora with 23 saves, compared to Nelson's 16.
Ferris State had a much better showing against Vermont the following night, but was unable to overcome a potent Catamount offense in a 4-2 loss.
Down by a 2-0 margin heading into the middle stanza, the Bulldogs cut their deficit in half thanks to a shot by sophomore Justin DeMartino that found the back of the net. Earning helpers on that play were junior Eric Alexander and sophomore Scott Czarnowczan.
Momentum would swing back to Vermont later in the period, as Kyle Reynolds scored on the power-play to make it a 3-1 affair.
With 1:35 remaining in the second, Ferris State pulled within one when senior forward Jordie Johnston finished off a pass from freshman defenseman Simon Denis while on the power-play.
A slashing call on the Bulldogs' Tommy Hill midway through the third would prove fatal, as the Catamounts' Colin Markison cashed-in on the man-advantage to put Vermont ahead by two.
Netminder Rob Madore stopped 24 shots for the Catamounts to secure his third victory of the season.
At the other end of the ice, freshman C.J. Motte dropped to 4-4-1 as a starter, recording 20 saves.
Ferris State (11-8-1 overall) is set to play their next four games at home, beginning with a non-conference series against Colgate on January 6-7, before returning to their CCHA schedule the following weekend when they host Alaska.