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BURLINGTON, Vt. – Senior assistant captain Peter Lenes (Shelburne, Vt.) scored the game-tying goal on the power play and had an assist while freshman goalie Rob Madore (Venetia, Pa.) made 26 saves in his debut to lead No. 17 Vermont to a 3-3 tie against No. 7 Miami in front of a sellout crowd of 4,003 at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Saturday night. The Catamounts are to 2-0-1 on the season with the tie and the Redhawks moved to 1-1-2.
Senior assistant captain Corey Carlson (Two Harbors, Minn.) and sophomore Kevan Miller (Los Angeles, Calif.) added goals for Vermont.
Sophomore Justin Milo (Edina, Minn.) scored the winning goal in the shootout for the Catamounts but the game is recorded as a tie. Shootouts are experimental for Hockey East teams this season.
“I’ve been associated with hockey a long time and I can’t remember two games that have been that exciting from start to finish,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said in reference to the win and tie against Miami on the weekend.
“The different momentum swings in both the games our teams went through; it was just a toe-to-toe battle that happened to end in a shootout. We were fortunate to come out with a win, tie and shootout victory.”
With the Catamounts trailing 3-2, Lenes tied the game at 5:25 of the third period with a goal during a 5-on-3. Senior captain Dean Strong (Mississauga, Ontario) setup the goal with a pass from the right circle. Sophomore Kyle Medvec (Burnsville, Minn.) also assisted.
“We had a 5-on-3 and had some good looks, but we just needed traffic,” Lenes said. “(Viktor) Stålberg created a screen for one guy, I cut across to the middle of the net, and Dean (Strong) gave me a good feed.”
Vermont had a chance to win the game with less than five minutes to play in regulation when junior Brian Roloff (West Seneca, N.Y.) went in shorthanded and was taken down by a Miami defender as he went to the net. Roloff was awarded a penalty shot but Redhawks freshman goalie Connor Knapp (27 saves) made the save.
Miami also had several chances for the winning goal in the final period and overtime but went 0-for-5 on the power play in the last 25 minutes. The Redhawks finished the game 0-for-9 on the power play and the Catamounts were 1-for-7.
Miami struck first when sophomore Tommy Wingels scored a shorthanded goal 16:04 into the first. Wingels took advantage of a Vermont turnover at the blue line and notched his second goal of the season.
Senior Alexandre Lacombe made it 2-0 Redhawks with a goal from the bottom of the left circle at 15:01 of the second.
Carlson cut the deficit in half with a goal 57 seconds later. Lenes setup the goal in transition with a pass from the left wing that found Carlson in the low slot for his first goal of the year.
Miller scored less than a minute later for the Catamounts to tie the game 2-2. Miller fired a wrist shot from the right point that beat Knapp top shelf at 16:53 of the second. Strong and sophomore Wahsontiio Stacey (Kahnawake, Quebec) both assisted.
Senior captain Brian Kaufman put Miami back in front at 1:35 of the third period but Lenes tied the game less than four minutes later.
“It’s always good to get that first one out of the way, that was a heck of a way to win,” Madore said about his first start and shootout. “We worked hard all week and all summer, so it’s good to see some payoff early in the season. At the same time we understand that it is only on weekend. We are going to enjoy this, but we’ve got bigger and better things on our minds.”
Vermont returns to action next Friday (Oct. 24) when they visit Boston College at 7:30 p.m. in a rematch of last season’s Hockey East Championship game. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
NOTES: Vermont won the shootout 2-1 … Junior Viktor Stålberg also scored in the shootout for the Catamounts … With two assists Dean Strong recorded the 18th multi-point game of his career … Vermont is 40-11-11 over the last four years when Strong records at least one point ... Strong went 20-for-34 on face offs.