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Vermont and Maine skated to a 4-4 tie Saturday night in Hockey East action at Gutterson Fieldhouse, following a 6-3 victory for Maine on Friday night.
Senior David DeKastrozza, sophomore Will O’Neill, freshman Klas Leidermark, and junior Tanner House scored for Maine. Junior Wahsontiio Stacey netted two goals for the Catamounts while sophomore Drew MacKenzie and senior co-captain Brian Roloff also scored for Vermont.
Vermont had its chances to jump out to a lead in the opening period. One of the best came on Vermont’s first power play when junior co-captain Kevan Miller passed the puck to a waiting junior Justin Milo near the net, who shot a one-timer but missed wide.
Unlike Vermont, Maine was able to convert on the power play, taking the 1-0 lead at 11:20. DeKastrozza picked up the puck in the slot, close to the net and sent the puck straight past sophomore goalie Rob Madore.
Vermont continued to struggle with special teams throughout the period and did not score, even during a five-on-three at 11:34.
“Tonight we worked very hard, we executed for the most part very well; our special teams did not,” Vermont coach Kevin Sneddon said.
“That’s been our strength all year; we’ve been consistently productive on our power play, so it really helped us again tonight,” Maine coach Tim Whitehead said.
The momentum shifted to the Catamounts in the second period, beginning at 5:21 when MacKenzie tied the game 1-1. Roloff passed the puck to junior Jack Downing in front of the net, but Downing couldn’t get a good shot off. MacKenzie was there to collect the rebound though, and shot the puck past sophomore goalie Scott Darling.
Maine went on their own five-on-three soon after at 9:21 when Roloff went to the box for boarding and senior Patrick Cullity joined just seconds later for tripping. The power play turned to five-on-four without damage for the Catamounts, but just as Cullity was about to get back on the ice, O’Neill scored for the Black Bears, taking back the lead.
Stacey tied the game again for Vermont at 14:20 when he picked up a pass from Downing at the edge of the crease. Stacey quickly fired it past Darling, making the game 2-2.
Stacey lit the lamp for the second time at 17:17, this time giving Vermont the 3-2 lead. He tipped the puck in off a redirection.
Vermont continued to surge starting off the third period when Roloff scored just 23 seconds in. Roloff took the puck around from behind the net and scored off a deflection.
Maine got a goal back at 10:07 when Leidermark scored, making the score 4-3.
The Catamounts then had to watch their lead completely evaporate at 15:46 when House tied the game, deflecting a shot taken from the blue line.
“The exciting part was how we responded,” Whitehead said. “It seemed like a game that just wasn’t going to happen for us. The first two periods, it was like nothing was going our way. We weren’t earning any bounces. Vermont was playing hard, winning loose pucks, doing all the right things. So we had no business being in it then, but I liked how we responded in the third period.”
The third period ended in a 4-4 tie, forcing the game into sudden-death overtime.
The Catamounts had chances again to score in overtime. One of the best chances came when Cullity got the puck next to the crease after getting a pass from Irwin. Cullity took the shot but missed wide.
Maine players got the puck deep in the Vermont end to close out the overtime, but the clock ran out before they could score, ending the game in a 4-4 tie.
“We’re very pleased to be able to get three out of four up here, that’s for sure,” Whitehead said.