Russell Leads Cats to 2-2 Overtime Tie with Michigan Tech

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Vermont’s Travis Russell (Essex Junction, Vt.) recorded 47 saves and the Catamounts got goals from Brady Leisenring (Stowe, Vt.) and Jeff Corey (Boothwyn, Pa.) to earn a 2-2 overtime tie with Michigan Tech Saturday in the second of a two-game set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Vermont, 0-3-2 overall, took a 1-0 lead at 12:25 of the first period when Leisenring scored his first of the season. Leisenring began the play with a nice rush up the left side, and after stickhandling around a Michigan Tech defender, he dropped a pass to Scott Mifsud, who then got it back to Leisenring in front, where he deposited it behind Cam Ellsworth for the 1-0 Vermont lead. Jeff Miles also assisted on the goal, the 18th in Leisenring’s career.

The Huskies responded moments later when junior Colin Murphy scored, taking the puck along the goal line from the corner to the left of Russell, waiting as he skated through the crease and finally beating Russell along the ice.

The Catamounts then grabbed a 2-1 lead midway through the second period when Corey finished off a nifty pass from Plant with his team-leading third goal of the season. Baron Becker (Waterford, Mich.) started the play with a nice pass from the right boards to Plant, who skated in the circle to the left of Ellsworth before deking a MTU defender and finding the streaking Corey, who dragged the puck through the crease and beat Ellsworth easily.

Some outstanding goaltending from Russell kept the score in Vermont’s favor for the remainder of the period, as the Catamounts killed a 5-on-3 Michigan Tech power play very effectively. Russell finished with 14 saves in the period, with at least a half-dozen of them sparkling stops.

Michigan Tech tied the game at 2-2 with yet another 5-on-3 power play in the third period, with freshman Taggard Desmet scoring from a tough angle to the right of Russell. The goal came at 12:57 of the final frame, and Vermont was able to kill the remaining time on the second penalty.

Ellsworth stopped 22 shots for Michigan Tech, 2-2-2 and 1-1-2 in four overtime games in 2003-04.