BURLINGTON, Vt. - Erin Wente scored with 23 seconds left in regulation as Vermont came from behind to tie Niagara 4-4 in non-conference action at Gutterson Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.
The Purple Eagles opened the scoring 15:30 into the first period. Kelsey Welch broke down the right wing and got a quick wrist off that was stopped by Vermont goaltender Roxanne Douville. Welch got another shot off on the rebound that was stopped by Douville's left pad. Kayla Raniwsky who was trailing on the play found the second rebound and put it in her second goal of the season.
Vermont responded 91 seconds later off an offensive zone faceoff. Chelsea Rapin took possession of the puck off the faceoff and fed Breanne Sundquist with a pass as she was cutting to the net. Sundquist's initial shot was saved by Niagara goaltender Sarah Moses but Kellie Dineen found the rebound at the side of the net, and put it in for her second goal of the season.
The Catamounts took their first lead of the game at the 17:19 mark of second period. Emily Walsh deflected a Greer Vogl point shot past Moses for her first goal of the season. Klara Myren earned the second assist on the play.
The Purple Eagles responded late in the period. Kelsey Welch scored her team leading sixth goal of the season on a two-on-one with teammate Daniela Dal Colle. Welch roofed Dal Colle's cross-crease pass at the 18:53 mark to tie the game at 2-2.
Just 40 seconds later the Purple Eagles struck again. Jessica Hitchcock skated in alone on Douville from the corner and beat her glove side with a quick wrist shot that went just under the crossbar. Jenna Hendrikx and Kathleen Bortuzzo received assists on Niagara's go-ahead goal.
Vermont came out strong in the third period pinning the Purple Eagles deep in their zone. Vermont's efforts paid off at the 6:09 mark. With traffic in front of the net a Kailey Nash point shot found the back off the net evening the score once again. Delia McNally and Meghan Huertas were credited with assists on the play.
The Purple Eagles pulled ahead again on a quick passing play around the Vermont net. Hitchcock centered the puck to Chelsea Witwicke who pushed the puck to Bortuzzo at the side of the net. Bortuzzo's quick shot beat Douville to give Niagara a 4-3 lead with 9:25 left in the third.
On the power play in the final minute of regulation Vermont pulled its goaltender to gain a two-man advantage. From the point Amanda Pelkey fed a pass to Huertas who one-timed a slapshot on net. Moses made the initial save but Wente was on the doorstep and shoveled the puck in to even the score with 23 seconds left in the third period.
Despite numerous chances, including a Niagara power play, neither team was able to score the go-ahead goal in overtime.
Vermont returns to action Thursday (7 p.m.) when they travel to face New Hampshire in Hockey East action.
NOTES: Vermont is now 0-2-2 all-time against Niagara ... Vermont was 1-7 on the power play ... Check back later to UVMathletics.com for video highlights.