DURHAM, N.H. - Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) tied the score, 3-3, with 15:33 remaining in the game to lift the 13th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team to Saturday night's 3-3 tie against the University of Vermont in Hockey East action at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which won the season series vs. UVM at 2-0-1, is now 15-10-5 overall and 14-5-4 in Hockey East, and also extended its league home record to 8-0-3 this season. Vermont moves to 13-11-6, 7-10-6. With the tie, the Wildcats have secured home-ice advantage for the Hockey East quarterfinals for a league-best 14th-straight season going back to the 1996-97 season.
UNH goaltender Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) made 26 saves, including three in the extra session, and UVM counterpart Rob Madore stopped 20 shots in the first period as well as two in OT as part of his total of 39.
UNH skated to a 2-0 lead in the first period behind a 22-8 shot advantage. Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass.) gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at 10:37. He gathered an outlet pass from Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.), who extended his scoring streak to 12 games, at the defensive blue line and quickly moved the puck through the neutral zone to Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.). Thompson skated from the right point and was denied by Madore at the slot, but Butler followed the play and scored off the rebound and the left doorstep.
Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.) extended the advantage to 2-0 at 18:38. Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.) corralled the puck in the neutral zone and found Burke skating along the left dashers. As he approached the half-boards, Burke fired a shot on net that deflected off Madore's arm inside the right post.
The Catamounts rallied to take a 3-2 lead with three goals in the second period. The rally began at 2:46 on a goal by Sebastian Stalberg. Brayden Irwin carried the puck into the right circle and made a centering pass to Colin Vock. Foster stopped that initial shot from the slot, but Stalberg scored off the rebound at the left doorstep.
Madore denied Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) in the fourth minute as he drove to the net on a breakaway from the left point, then turned aside Butler's one-timer from the inner-left circle off a cross-ice pass two minutes later to keep UVM within 2-1.
In the ninth minute, with UNH on the power play, Madore slid from post to post to turn aside DeSimone's backdoor shot at the right post.
The Catamounts pulled even, 2-2, at 13:45 when Brett Leonard led a 3-on-1 rush down the right wing with Matt Marshall and David Pacan. Leonard cut to the slot and wristed a shot inside the left post. Drew MacKenzie was credited with an assist.
UVM took its first - and only - lead of the game, 3-2, with 1:35 remaining in the middle stanza. On a faceoff to Foster's right, Irwin won the puck to the slot and Stalberg fired a shot that was turned aside by Foster. Vock, however, was positioned at the right post to jam the puck into the net off the rebound.
New Hampshire leveled the score at 3 on a power-play goal at 4:27 of the third period. Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, British Columbia) initiated the scoring sequence with a pass from the left point to Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario) in the high slot. LeBlanc swung the puck to the right point and Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) blasted a low shot between Madore's leg pads.
The teams went into the five-minute overtime session tied, 3-3. UVM was whistled for a penalty with 19 seconds remaining and called time out. UNH won the ensuing faceoff, but DeSimone's shot in the slot was blocked by Patrick Cullity and he cleared the puck the length of the ice and the Wildcats were unable to break through the neutral zone the rest of the way.
UNH returns to action next weekend with a home-and-home series with Hockey East rival Northeastern. The teams will play Friday night (7 p.m.) at Matthews Arena and Saturday night (7 p.m.) at Whittemore Center. For more information on UNH hockey including ticket information for upcoming home games and the Hockey East quarterfinals log on to www.UNHWildcats.com.