BURLINGTON, Vt. — Peter Lenes’ six-on-four power play-play goal with 32 seconds remaining in the third propelled Vermont to a 1-1 tie with Holy Cross in the second game of the Sheraton/TD Banknorth Catamount Cup Saturday at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
The Catamounts (4-6-4) prevailed 4-3 in a six-round shootout to determine who would face Quinnipiac, who defeated Western Michigan 2-1 earlier in the day, in Sunday’s championship game.
Holy Cross goaltender Adam Roy turned in a terrific 36-save effort, nearly winning it for the Crusaders (5-4-5), if not for the patience of the UVM power play and the Lenes’ blast from the point.
“We were just trying to get the puck to net and that’s all we could do,” said Lenes. “If it went in, it went in. if not, it’s a heck of a game by that goalie, but we were just trying to shoot the puck as much as we could.”
Vermont outshot Holy Cross 37-19, but ran into a hot goalie in Roy.
“It’s a little bit frustrating,” said UVM head coach Kevin Sneddon, “As I told our guys, there’s going to be nights like that. You’re going to have nights where you do everything right for 60 minutes, make very few mistakes, and end up in a tie or even a loss. We were fortunate that our power play came through for us in the clutch in the final minute.”
The teams skated through a scoreless first period, with Vermont holding the edge in play. UVM held a 15-5 shots advantage. Roy did well to keep the ‘Cats off the board, stopping five shots on Vermont’s two power plays.
Vermont continued to carry the play in the second. Holy Cross, though, had the best chance of the period with a two-on-one rush midway through. Both Everett Sheen and Dale Reinhardt had opportunities to take the lead for the Crusaders but Joe Fallon, who started for the first time in three games, made sprawling saves on shots from the slot.
“I thought Joe was very solid, very good, in the net for us tonight, which is good to see that he had some confidence back there and he made a couple of huge saves for us,” said Sneddon of his goalie, who hadn’t started in 27 days.
Despite the Cats’ dominance throughout, Holy Cross jumped ahead 1-0 on a Sheen goal, just as a power play expired. Vermont’s Brayden Irwin wasn’t quite back into the play after serving a high-sticking minor when Sheen fired a shot from the slot past Fallon for his team-leading ninth at 5:45 of the third.
Vermont had several good chances to tie the game as the period went on. Brian Roloff just missed an open net from below the left circle, firing the puck over the top of the goal. Roy made a great save on Colin Vock from the right circle, sliding across the crease to get the puck with his pad, and Dean Strong squarely hit the post from the midpoint later on.
Holy Cross’ Broadie Sheahan took a hooking penalty at 18:53, and Vermont pulled Fallon to make it a two-man advantage. Lenes got the equalizer, on a shot from the point, to force overtime.
Vermont was aggressive in the extra session, but Roy was up to the task, stopping four Catamounts’ shots.
Lenes put Vermont up 1-0 in the shootout, after two shooters for each side, with a backhander to the top right corner that Roy couldn’t do anything about. Sheahan followed with a backhand goal of his own to tie it, 1-1.
Corey Carlson beat Roy to the top right corner for a 2-1 lead, before both Reinhardt and J.P. Martignetti tallied five-hole goals for a 3-2 lead. Vock then tied things again at three. Fallon made a skate save on Brock and Viktor Stalberg followed with the shootout winner, a stick side backhander.
“I thought we did a good job,” said Holy Cross coach Paul Pearl. “We were a little rusty there in the first period. I thought the second and third we picked it up. The best thing that I thought that we did, I just told the team, was I thought we played a really good overtime.”
Holy Cross faces Western Michigan in the consolation game Sunday at 3:30 p.m., while Vermont and Quinnipiac play for the championship at 6:30.