Brody Hoffman made 36 saves and Vermont earned a 2-2 tie against Maine on Saturday night in Hockey East action at Alfond Arena. The Catamounts finished with a three-point weekend on the road in Orono and move to 3-7-3 (3-5-3 HEA), while the Black Bears' record pushes to 2-10-2 (1-6-2 HEA).
"It's a good sign for us to be up here in Maine getting on the bus with three points and feeling like we left one behind," said head coach Kevin Sneddon. "We feel if we're leading 2-1 going to the third, we need to be the third period team we want to be. We had some unbelievable chances right at the end of the third and in overtime. Brody was fantastic."
Vermont killed off three straight Maine power plays as part of a scoreless first period. The Catamounts had a 5-on-3 opportunity for a full two minutes beginning at the 16:10 mark, but they couldn't find a way past Black Bear goalie Martin Ouellette.
Early in the second period, Vermont broke through to open the scoring. Nick Luukko fired a shot toward the net from the left point as Ouellette made the initial save. The rebound sat for Matt White in the low slot, and the junior slid home a backhander to give the Catamounts the lead.
Vermont then killed off a Maine 5-on-3 for 1:35, but the Black Bears soon tied things up with an even strength tally at 8:34. Ben Hutton took a feed from Adam Shemansky and skated into the left faceoff circle. The rookie took a slap shot and the puck tipped off Hoffman's glove as it trickled over the goal line.
The Catamounts had the answer in the closing seconds of the middle frame as they drove the net hard once again. Ouellette saved a wrist shot from Chris McCarthy and Jacob Fallon put the rebound back on net. Tobias Nilsson-Roos skated in for the third opportunity and buried the loose puck with 4.4 seconds left in the period to make it 2-1.
Just 25 seconds into the third period, Vermont was called for high sticking and Maine went back on the power play. Joey Diamond curled out to the top of the crease and stuffed a backhand at the right post. Hoffman made a stretching left pad save, but the rebound settled for Diamond and he poked it in to knot the score again.
Near the end of regulation, Adam Shemansky was whistled for slashing to give the Catamounts a power play that carried into overtime. UVM had quality scoring chances on either side of the overtime break from McCarthy and Robert Polesello, but neither player was able to solve Ouellette (19 saves) for the game-winner.
Vermont is back in action next Wednesday (Dec. 5) as it makes the short trip to Hanover, N.H. to face No. 11 Dartmouth for a 7 p.m. faceoff.
---UVM Athletic Department Press Release--
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