BURLINGTON, Vt. - Junior Spencer Abbott scored 2:16 into overtime on a breakaway to lead No. 7 Maine to a 3-2 win against Vermont at a sold out Gutterson Fieldhouse in Hockey East action on Saturday night. Junior Rob Madore (Pittsburgh, Pa.) made 39 saves for the Catamounts but it wasn't enough as the Black Bears (4-1-2, 2-0-0 HEA) won their third straight.
Seniors Jack Downing (New Canaan, Conn.) and Wahsontiio Stacey both scored power-play goals.
Junior Gustav Nyquist assisted on all three Maine tallies while Tanner House and Robby Dee each scored on the man advantage.
"I thought it was a good college hockey game but obviously we're frustrated," Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. "We've played in a lot of overtimes without any feel of victory and I feel bad for our guys and our staff. But again we're built for the marathon not for the sprint and a lot of lessons to be learned from these tough moments; but the compete level was great as was the physicality."
It marked the third straight overtime game for Vermont (0-2-2, 0-1-1 HEA) and the 10th in the last 20 contests overall dating back to a 4-4 tie against Maine at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Jan. 30 last season.
The Black Bears, who were coming off a sweep of No. 2 North Dakota last weekend, out shot the Catamounts 15-8 in the first period and took a 1-0 lead at 6:26 of the second. With Maine on the power play, House took a feed from Nyquist in the slot and beat Madore over the right shoulder for his fifth goal of the year.
Stacey tied the game 1-1 for the Catamounts with a power-play goal at 15:46 of the second. Vermont was on the power play and there was a delayed penalty call on Maine as Stacey raced on the ice as an extra skater for a 6-on-4. Stacey took a quick shot from the low slot off a feed from Josh Burrows (Prairie Grove, Ill.) and goaltender Dan Sullivan (23 saves) made the initial save, but Stacey jammed the rebound in for his fourth goal of the year.
Maine responded with just four seconds remaining in the second when they drew a penalty on Vermont. The Black Bears won the offensive zone draw and Dee collected a rebound at the bottom of the left circle to make it 2-1 with less than a second remaining in the period.
"That's one thing that we've got to continue to work at, faceoffs are a chance at possession," Sneddon said. "They win a faceoff, they've got four seconds left and they score a goal. I don't think we've won the faceoff battle yet this year."
Maine went 49-for-71 on draws and that included a 19-for-24 performance by Dee.
Downing's power-play goal during a 5-on-3 at 8:37 of the third period tied the game at two for the Catamounts. Junior Drew MacKenzie (New Canaan, Conn.) fired a shot from the high slot that Downing tipped in midair for his second goal in as many games. Freshman defenseman Nick Bruneteau (Omaha, Neb.) picked up his third assist of the season on the play.
Maine had a chance to win the game on the first shift of overtime. But Madore robbed Abbott from the bottom of the left circle immediately after captain Kevan Miller (Los Angeles, Calif.) took an open net away from Jeff Dimmen when he blocked his shot from the right dot.
However, Abbott got another chance when he got behind the Vermont defense at 2:16 of the extra frame and beat Madore for his team-high sixth goal of the year.
"We've got to put a whole 60 minutes together," Wahsontiio Stacey said. "I mean it's not like we didn't come to play the first two periods, but it just doesn't make sense to have more legs in the third period than the first two periods and that was the case today. We're just losing little battles and not strong on our sticks. We've got to get back to work on Monday."
Vermont returns to action on Friday (Nov. 5) at UMass-Lowell at 7:05 p.m.
NOTES: Check back to www.UVMathletics.com for game highlights and postgame comments from Kevin Sneddon and Wahsontiio Stacey ... Maine went 2-for-5 on the power play while Vermont was 2-for-8 ... Maine leads the all-time series 16-13-3 ... Jack Downing led the Catamounts with four shots.