An intense, high-energy game against Merrimack College ended in a 2-2 tie for the men’s hockey team in Hockey East action on Oct. 23.
Senior Chris Barton and first year Shawn Bates tallied the goals for Merrimack, while senior Jack Downing and sophomore Ben Albertson scored for Vermont.
“I thought both teams played extremely hard,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “Extremely aggressive, great momentum swings both ways, both goaltenders played outstanding … that’s a great early Hockey East game right there, felt like a playoff game.”
When Vermont first year Anthony DeCenzo was called for a tripping penalty at 11:26 in the first period, Downing was able to quickly turn the situation in Vermont’s favor when he scored a short-handed goal, unassisted, at 11:36.
Downing avoided defenders and carried the puck to the left circle where he sent a snap shot past junior goalie Joe Cannata.
The Warriors had an answer on the same penalty when junior Karl Stollery sent a pass to Barton who then tied the game with a low wrist shot at 12:09.
Merrimack broke the tie and took their first lead of the game in the second period at 5:27, when Bates slid the puck past junior goalie Rob Madore and put the Warriors up 2-1.
The Catamounts battled back to tie the game again at 10:48 when Albertson scored his first career goal with the team, picking up a rebound and sending a wrist shot past Cannata from the edge of the crease.
“I think it was a big goal for the team,” Albertson said. “It was a big momentum change; we really picked it up after that and personally of course it feels great. It’s something that I’ve been dreaming about for a long time and it’s awesome to see that become a reality.”
Vermont sophomore Chris McCarthy thought that he had taken the lead back for the Catamounts early in the third when he took a snap shot from the right circle and then knocked his own rebound into the net.
This was reviewed and ruled a no-goal though, due to a player in the crease.
When asked about the overturned goal, Sneddon expressed that the officially announced reason for the ruling was different than what had been explained to him by the officials.
“They [the officials] told us that it was goaltender interference … if it was goaltender interference or goalie contact it should have been a penalty,” Sneddon said.
Neither team was able to score in the remaining minutes of the third period or in the resulting overtime period, leaving the scoreboard unchanged at 2-2.
The following weekend Vermont took on No. 6 University of Maine on Saturday Oct. 30th. Senior Jack Downing tied the game at two in the third period and sent the game into overtime where junior Spencer Abbot of Maine was able to score the game winning goal, a 3-2 final. The overtime finish marked the third straight overtime game for Vermont who remains winless on the season posting a record of 0-2-2, 0-1-1 in the Hockey East.