NEW HAMPSHIRE AND VERMONT SKATE TO 1-1 TIE
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Vermont out-shot fifth-ranked New Hampshire 31-22 but the teams traded goals in the second period and skated to a 2-2 tie on Saturday at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts move their record to 10-15-5 (7-11-5 HEA), while the Wildcats sit at 17-8-5 (12-7-4 HEA).
"I thought it was a great hockey game, they're an excellent team," said head coach Kevin Sneddon. "I look at the progress we've made since the first time we played them in November when they were clearly the better hockey team. They were two very close, hard-fought games this weekend."
UVM out-shot UNH 8-2 in the first period but neither team found the back of the net. New Hampshire was unsuccessful on two power plays in the opening 20 minutes as the Catamounts held the Wildcats without a shot.
Vermont got on the scoreboard 56 seconds into the middle frame to take the lead. Kyle Reynolds tipped the puck below the goal line for Chris McCarthy and the junior fired a quick pass into the slot for Jake Fallon. The sophomore whistled a one-timer off the right post to beat Casey DeSmith for his ninth goal of the season.
Later in the second, UNH answered on its third power play of the night. Eric Knodel set up Trevor van Riemsdyk at the center point as he wristed a low shot toward the net through a screen. The puck snuck through Brody Hoffman's five-hole at the 8:23 mark to knot the score at one.
The deadlock continued into the third period as the Catamounts' line of Brett Bruneteau, Jonathan Turk, and Ben Albertson created several chances around the crease. The teams went to overtime and McCarthy had an open look in the slot off a 4-on-3 rush with just seconds remaining, but he wristed a shot wide to the right.
"They played 65 minutes of exactly how we talked about playing," said Sneddon. "They didn't sit back on their heels when it went to overtime, we played to win. That's probably the best 65 minutes we played this year against a team that's very good defensively and offensively."
UVM finished the night 3-for-4 on the penalty kill and only allowed UNH one shot on its man-up opportunities. Hoffman stopped 21 shots, while DeSmith posted 30 saves in the tie.
Vermont travels to Boston for its third straight road trip next weekend to face No. 13 Boston University on Friday (Mar. 1) at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday (Mar. 2) at 7 p.m. from Agganis Arena. Pre-game radio coverage begins 30 minutes before faceoff each night on WVMT 620-AM and online at SportsJuice.com.
NOTES: Nick Bruneteau skated in his 100th career game on Saturday ... Brett Bruneteau won 21 faceoffs and lost just three on the night for a percentage of 87.5 ... New Hampshire averages roughly 35 shots on goal per game, but Vermont held the Wildcats to 45 shots in two games this weekend ... Jake Fallon tied the team-lead in goals with nine on the season ... Brody Hoffman has allowed one goal or less in four of his last five starts.