PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The men's ice hockey team tied the University of Vermont, 4-4, on Thursday evening at Schneider Arena to close out the 2012 portion of its schedule. Senior goalie Russ Stein (Ridgefield, Conn.) made 28 saves in his first career start for the Friars and four different Friars found the back of the net.
With the tie, Providence moves to 7-6-3 (5-4-2 Hockey East), while Vermont is now 4-8-2 (3-5-4 Hockey East) on the year. After ties of 1-1 and 2-2 to end the first two periods, a four-goal third ultimately resulted in a 4-4 tie between the Hockey East rivals, who end their season series with a 1-1-1 split. In the Catamount net, Brody Hoffman made 32 saves, including four in overtime to preserve the tie.
At 15:07 in the first period Vermont forward Jonathan Turk finished a feed from teammate Brett Bruneteau and buried a wrist shot from the left side of the Providence crease to give the Catamounts a 1-0 lead. The Friars earned a power-play with 40 seconds remaining in the first period and twenty seconds into the power play, freshman Nick Saracino (St. Louis, Mo.) notched his second goal in as many games when he fired a shot from the crease after junior Derek Army's (North Kingstown, R.I.) shot caromed out front, where senior Tim Schaller (Merrimack, N.H.) kicked it towards Saracino. The Friars and Catamounts headed to the locker room tied at 1-1 after one period of play.
The Friars took a 2-1 lead at 4:27 of the second period when freshman defenseman Tom Parisi (Commack, N.Y.) let a wrist shot fly off the post and in from the top of the circles. Sophomore right wing Shane Luke (Dauphin, Manitoba) and sophomore center Ross Mauermann (Janesville, Wisc.) assisted on the play, which was Parisi's second goal of the season. The Catamounts capitalized on the man advantage at 10:25 of the second when Jacob Fallon tapped in a deflection from a shot taken by teammate Chris McCarthy, tying the game at 2-2. Robert Polesello earned an assist. The teams once again went to the locker room tied, this time at 2-2.
In a back-and-forth four-goal third, Providence took a 3-2 lead on a goal from sophomore Stefan Demopoulos (La Mesa, Calif.). At the 4:25 mark Demopoulos notched his third goal of the season and first since returning from injury on Nov. 30. After Paul de Jersey (West Vancouver, B.C.) sent a breakout pass up the middle, Schaller and Demopoulos played a give-and-go that resulted in the goal. The assist for Schaller was part of a two-assist night that extended his point streak to four games (2-4-6). Just over two minutes later, freshman right wing Steven McParland (Schreiber, Ontario) scored a short-handed tally to give Providence a 4-2 lead. Red shirt freshman Noel Acciari (Johnston, R.I.) and junior defenseman Steven Shamanski (Carberry, Manitoba) assisted on what was Providence's first short-handed goal of the season. Two minutes after that, Vermont closed the gap to one goal on a goal by junior H.T. Lenz, with the assists going to Turk and Matt White. The Catamounts then tied the game at 13:26 when McCarthy scored his sixth of the year.
The Friars applied most of the pressure in the overtime, forcing Hoffman to make four saves but for the second time in as many games, the Friars came away with a tie at Schneider Arena. Providence outshot Vermont, 36-32, for the game. Stein's 28 saves were a career high as he made his third appearance in the Friar goal.
Providence returns to action on Jan. 4 when the Friars travel to Mankato, Minn. to take on Minnesota State in a two-game series. Friday night's game is scheduled for 8:37 p.m.
Steven McParland netted Providence's first short-handed goal of the year ... Tim Schaller has a four-game point scoring streak (2-4-6) ... Russ Stein made his first career start, recorded his third career appearance and a career high 28 saves ... The Friars have now played five overtime games this season, including two in a row (they are 1-1-3 in the five overtime games) ... The Friars allowed an opponent to score first for the eighth time this season but battled back for a tie (now 1-6-1 on the year when an opponent scores first) ... Jon Gillies' streak of 15 consecutive starts was broken due to his U.S. World Junior Team participation (he played the second half of Team USA's 3-2 overtime exhibition win over Sweden in Finland on Thursday morning, stopping 18-of-19 shots in 30:11 to earn the win) ... Before the game, there was a moment of silence to honor former men's ice hockey equipment manager Bo Riendeau who passed away recently (Riendeau spent 17 years as the equipment manager for the Friars from 1973 to 1990) ... the Friars enter the winter break in fourth place in the Hockey East standings.