BURLINGTON, Vt. - Catamount sophomore Ace Cowans could not have picked a better time for his first career goal, scoring with just half a second left in overtime to cap a thriller in front of 3,682 at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Vermont improves to 3-3-0 overall and to 1-2-0 in Hockey East play. UConn falls to 4-3-1 overall and 2-2-1 in conference play.
"We were just fortunate to get the puck into a good spot on the ice. We didn't even have anybody at the net front," head coach Kevin Sneddon said on the overtime goal. "Ace used their own guy as a screen. I don't think their goaltender could see it come off the stick and Ace can rip the puck."
HOW IT HAPPENED
- UConn took the lead at 15:14 of the opening period as Alexander Payosov netted his NCAA-leading eighth goal of the season. Karl El-Mir skated down the left side into the UVM zone before firing a pass to the slot towards Payusov, who got enough wood on the puck to sneak it past Stefanos Lekkas (36 saves).
- Lekkas made an enormous save halfway through the second period on a Kale Howarth breakaway. While shorthanded, Howarth blocked a UVM shot in the UConn zone and went the other way, but was stoned by Lekkas.
- For the third straight game, the Catamounts looked to erase a one-goal deficit entering the third period. Lekkas was pulled from his net with 1:30 to play for an extra attacker, and Matt Alvaro found twine with 34 seconds left in regulation. However, there were seven Catamounts on the ice and the goal was waved off.
- The Cats brought the puck into the Husky zone for one last push at Tomas Vomacka (28 saves). Liam Coughlin deflected a Jake Massie blue line shot past Vomacka to tie the game for the second time. Matt O'Donnell picked up the secondary assist on the play.
- Cowans received a feed from Johnny DeRoche in the slot and patiently lined up a shot around a charging UConn defender. The puck whistled by the Husky defender and then past Vomacka's glove for the game-winner before time expired. Craig Puffer picked up the secondary assist on the winner.
- With the victory, the Cats Win, Community Wins campaign and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group will donate another $100 to the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington, bringing this year's total to 95 wins and $9,500.
- Lekkas recorded 36 saves, making it the third game this season he has tallied at least 30 saves. The junior now holds a .947 save percentage and 1.82 goals against average.
- Cowans scored his first career goal in the final second of overtime. The sophomore had recorded six assists in 17 career games prior to tonight. DeRoche tallied his first career assist on Cowans' goal.
- Vermont played its annual Rally Against Cancer game, presented by Vermont Custom Closets. Proceeds benefitted the UVM Cancer Center. The game was also Hockey East's Skating Strides Against Cancer game.
Vermont heads to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts for a pair of games against the Boston College Eagles. The puck first drops at Conte Forum at 7 p.m. on Thursday (Nov. 8) before a 7 p.m. start on Friday (Nov. 9).