VERMONT RALLIES TO TIE NIAGARA, 3-3
Junior Erin Wente and freshman Megan Bergland net power-play goals in third period to tie game for Catamounts
BURLINGTON, Vt. - Megan Bergland and Erin Wente scored third period goals on the power play as Vermont came from behind to tie Niagara 3-3 in non-conference action Friday afternoon at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Amanda Pelkey opened the scoring 4:36 into the first with her second goal of the season. Megan Dalbec fed Pelkey with a breakout pass and she entered the Niagara zone on a two-on-one. Pelkey was looking to shoot the whole time and beat Abby Ryplanski with a quick wrist shot.
The Purple Eagles responded late in the first period. Sophomore Katie Dods scored her first career goal deflecting a Leah Whittaker point shot past Vermont goaltender Roxanne Douville at the 17:47 mark.
Niagara took its first lead of the game at 10:19 of the second period. From behind the net Jenna Hendrikx centered a pass to Jessica Hitchcock. Hitchcock collected the puck and beat Douville over the shoulder with a backhand for her fifth goal of the season.
The Purple Eagles extended their lead to 3-1 after successfully killing off a 28 second Vermont two-man advantage. At the 6:38 mark of the third Hitchcock entered the Vermont zone alone with Kelsey Welch. Hitchcock fed a cross-crease pass to Welch who buried her fifth goal of the season.
Midway through the third period Vermont found themselves on the two-man advantage again after consecutive Niagara penalties 24 seconds apart. A Meghan Huertas point shot was deflected in front by a Purple Eagles defender and bounced off of Vermont forward Brittany Zuback to Wente alone in front. Wente got off a quick shot that beat Ryplanski at the 10:33 mark to pull the Catamounts within one.
Under a minute later Vermont tied the game off another scramble in front of Ryplanski. Chelsea Rapin took a shot from the side of the net that was steered aside but Klara Myren corralled the rebound and centered the puck to Bergland. In tight space Bergland was able to get a backhand off past Ryplanski for her first career collegiate goal.
Despite numerous chances neither team was able to score the go-ahead goal late in the third. After 60 minutes Vermont was headed to overtime for the third time this season.
The Catamounts outshot Niagara 6-0 in overtime but could not solve Ryplanski (25 saves). Douville made 23 saves, including 11 in the first period, in her fourth start of the season.
"A really good game for us to get a point out of, obviously down 3-1 with 10 minutes left," said Head Coach Tim Bothwell. "So there are some positives and it's something we can build off of."
Vermont returns to action Saturday (2 p.m.) against Niagara in the final game of its two-game set this weekend.
NOTES: Vermont is now 0-2-1 all-time against Niagara ... Five Catamounts now share the team lead in scoring with four points ... Vermont was 2-8 on the power play with 11 shots.