CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- Vermont sophomore Dean Strong (Mississauga, Ontario) scored with 1:35 left in overtime to give the 18th-ranked Catamounts a 2-1 win over Harvard at the Bright Hockey Center on Tuesday night. Strong’s fourth game-winning goal this month extended Vermont’s winning streak to six games as the Catamounts improved to 8-4-1 (5-1-1, Hockey East). Strong has scored a goal in all six games during the streak.
“Good college teams find different ways to win,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “Tonight was one of those games where we didn’t play great but we needed to find a way to do it in overtime and we did. So, I’m certainly pleased with how we came together at the end.”
Vermont junior co-captain Torrey Mitchell (Greenfield Park, Quebec) added a power-play goal and freshman goalie Mike Spillane (Bow, N.H.) made 25 saves in his second career start to pick up his first-ever win.
Vermont went on the power play midway through the first period and Mitchell scored his fifth goal of the season to give the Catamounts a 1-0 lead. Mitchell flicked a wrist shot from the left circle past Harvard senior goalie Justin Tobe at 10:39 of the period to extend his scoring streak to six games. Senior assistant captain Ryan Gunderson (Bensalem, Pa.) and Strong both assisted.
Harvard tied the game at one with a power-play goal by freshman defenseman Alex Biega at 6:18 of the second period. Biega blasted a shot from the point past Spillane for his fourth goal of the season.
In the third period the Crimson outshot the Catamounts 11-6 but the game remained tied at one going to overtime.
In the extra session Mitchell setup Strong for the game-winner with a pass from behind the net. Strong came free in the slot and as he was falling to the ice fired the puck by Tobbe for the game-winner. Freshman Patrick Cullity (Tewksbury, Mass.) also recorded his second assist of the season on the play.
Vermont’s penalty kill, which ranks first in the nation, held Harvard to 1-for-9 on the power play. The Catamounts went 1-for-8 on the man advantage.
Tobe made 24 saves in net for the Crimson who fell to 3-9-0 on the year with the loss.
The Catamounts return to action on Friday when they take on UMass-Lowell at 7:00pm at Tsognas Arena.
GAME NOTES: Tonight’s game was the third of eight Vermont men’s hockey games that will be televised on CN8 this season … Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon and Harvard head coach Ted Donato were college teammates at Harvard and won a national championship together in 1989 … Vermont held its opponents to 2-for-34 on the power play in the month of November … UVM is 1-1-1 in overtime games this season … The Catamounts went 6-1-0 in the month of November … UVM is 7-1-1 when scoring first this season … The Catamounts are 21-4-3 when Dean Strong records at least one point over the last two seasons … Harvard was ranked as high as 11th in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine Poll earlier this season.