DURHAM, N.H. — Vermont sophomore goalie Joe Fallon made a season high 34 saves as the fourth-ranked Catamounts skated to a 2-2 tie against No. 15 New Hampshire in front of a sellout crowd of 6,501 at the Whittemore Center. It was the second time in three meetings this season UVM and UNH battled to a tie. The Catamounts move to 13-5-2 on the season and 5-4-2 in Hockey East while New Hampshire is 10-7-4 and 8-3-3 in conference.
“I thought it was night and day in terms of our execution from last night,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “I thought our guys did a great job of rebounding from last night’s game and just putting forth a great effort. Obviously we’re not happy with a tie but in terms of the process we’re much happier with the way we played. We have to build from there and get ready for next weekend.”
Vermont responded to yesterday’s 2-1 loss by scoring early in the opening period. At 6:32 senior assistant captain Brady Leisenring notched his first goal since Dec. 2 in a win against UMass-Lowell. Senior Jeff Corey set up the score with a drop pass and Leisenring snapped a wrist shot from the left circle past UNH goalie Kevin Regan to give the Catamounts a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Slavomir Tomko also assisted on Leisenring’s team-high ninth goal of the season.
The Wildcats would tie the game 1-1 at 3:55 of the second period on a 5-on-3. New Hampshire senior captain Brain Yandle fired a low slapshot from the top of the left circle past Fallon, to break a streak of 20 straight power play opportunities without a goal for the Wildcats.
Vermont would retake the lead with 40 seconds remaining in the second period. Senior captain Jaime Sifers scored on a wrist shot from inside the slot on a nice pass by Mitchell. Corey also assisted on the play that gave Vermont a 2-1 lead. The goal was the second of the year for Sifers. With the assist Mitchell extended his scoring total to a team-high 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists).
New Hampshire tied the game at two at 10:19 of the third period on Chris Murray’s second of the season.
Neither team would score again as Fallon made a total of 15 saves in the third period and overtime while Regan countered with nine stops. For the second time this year Vermont had the lead going into the final period against the Wildcats and both times UNH managed a tie. Vermont is now 9-0-2 with the lead heading into the final 20 minutes.
The Catamounts went 0-for-3 on the power play and the Wildcats were 1-for-6. Vermont finished the regular season series against the Wildcats 0-1-2, despite only being outscored 7-6 in this year’s three meetings.
Vermont returns home to Gutterson Fieldhouse next weekend for a two-game series against Northeastern while New Hampshire travels to New Haven to take on Yale on Wednesday.