BURLINGTON, VT — Providence and Vermont both had their chances Friday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Both teams only scored once though and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Junior Drew MacKenzie scored the goal for Vermont while senior co-captain Ian O’Connor recorded the goal for Providence.
“I think the score was reflective of how even the game was,” Providence head coach Tim Army said. “It was really a hard-fought game.”
“It was a good fight, good scrap,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “Both teams obviously knew how important the game was, we’re disappointed that we only came away with a tie but in terms of how hard our guys played and the chances we created I thought we did some really nice things.”
The game got off to a slow start as neither team was able to record a goal in the game’s opening period.
Vermont freshman Matt White tried to get the Catamounts on the board when he passed the puck to freshman teammate H.T. Lenz. Lenz took a shot from the slot but Providence junior goaltender Alex Beaudry made a low save.
Soon after the save, the Friars had a chance of their own to knock the puck in as it was loose dangerously close to Vermont junior netminder Rob Madore in the Vermont crease. The puck didn’t make it over the goal line though and the game remained scoreless.
While Vermont freshman Connor Brickley was serving an interference penalty at 14:29, Madore held off Providence senior Eric Baier as he took a shot close to the Vermont net. The Catamounts withstood the penalty and the scoreless tie carried into the second period.
Providence greatly out-shot the Catamounts in the period, 15-7.
Vermont had a promising chance to score early in the second period when sophomore Anders Franzon picked up a pass from White and shot a one-timer from the left of the Providence net. Beaudry made the stop though and both teams remained scoreless.
“Beaudry played very well,” Sneddon said. “The save he made on Franzon coming down the back door, one-time shot I thought it was a great save by Beaudry and I thought Rob [Madore] made some great saves tonight as well.”
Vermont broke through at 4:07 in the second with the goal from MacKenzie. MacKenzie scored his second goal of the season as Providence freshman Mark Adams was preparing to exit the penalty box, knocking a backhanded shot into the net.
Adams was the last Providence player to see the inside of the penalty box until four-straight Vermont players had served their turns.
Providence recorded the equalizer when the teams were at even strength at 10:35 in the second, as O’Connor’s shot deflected off the stick of a Vermont player.
The game was tied again, this time at one heading into the third period.
Vermont sophomore Sebastian Stalberg shot a wrister from the right circle in the third period but Beaudry was there and blocked the puck.
Vermont was unable to capitalize on three power play chances in the third, and neither team was able to get into the net at all in the period, bringing the game into overtime.
The Providence penalties came one right after another in the third period, as Vermont’s had in the second. Both coaches commented on the oddness of this situation.
“Unfortunately it was a game of special teams,” Sneddon said. “I think both teams probably wanted to play a lot of 5-on-5 … We got into penalty trouble I think in the second period there … It was almost like it was their turn then to go on the short- hand for quite a while.”
“It was a little odd, because it wasn’t like one penalty and then we’d be short and then they’d get a penalty. It was two, three in a row for both teams and it’s hard to kill in succession like that,” Army said.
Stalberg made a last-minute attempt to score the game-winner as the final seconds were slipping away in the overtime period. He shot the puck from the right of the net but the puck hit the crossbar and time had run out on both teams.
“I was certainly glad not to see the light go on and to see the official wave no-goal,” Army said.