Sheer Excitement at the Gut

The fifth-ranked Catamounts skated to a 3-3 tie with the 10th-ranked New Hampshire Wildcats (7-5-3, 6-3-2). It was the first tie for Vermont this season as they move to 10-3-1 overall and 4-3-1 in Hockey East.

The first period started with both teams trying to get a feel for the other. But by the end of the period, this rivalry was in full swing. The first 10 minutes were all about missed opportunities for the Cats. They had multiple great scoring chances that they were not able to convert.

UNH got, and took advantage of their first good scoring opportunity on a power play at 12:45 after a holding penalty was called on the Cats Corey Carlson. At the very end of the power play Junior Daniel Winnik scored on a one-timer from the left side. The assists were credited to Jacob Micflikier and Brian Yandle.

Just over a minute later the Catamounts found themselves shorthanded once again. But this time they were the ones that took advantage. As the penalty was coming to an end, Freshman Corey Carlson got his revenge. He broke into the UNH zone shorthanded with the puck and made a stellar play to get around one defender and then buried a shot in the back of the net, past goalie Kevin Regan. Kevin Macaulay and Dean Strong both got assists on the goal.

The second period opened with the Cats on a power play after a late first period Wildcats penalty. Vermont did not waste any time taking advantage. The Cats were able to move the puck well and sophomore defenseman Mark Lutz found himself open at the top of the left circle. He blasted a shot that went right over Regan’s blocker into the back of the net to give Vermont a 2-1 lead.

The Wildcats responded at 7:41 of the second period with a goal by Micflikier, his sixth of the year, off an assist from Brett Hemingway. At 11:36 of the period sophomore goaltender Joe Fallon replaced senior Travis Russell who had to leave the game with an injury. Russell finished with 13 saves.

With just under ten minutes remaining in the period Vermont retook the lead on another power play goal. The goal came on a one-timer through Regan’s five-hole by sophomore Torrey Mitchell. Captain Jaime Sifers and Ryan Gunderson were credited with the assists.

The Catamounts were able to hold on to the lead until 13:22 of the third period. With UNH on the power play, senior captain Brian Yandle fired a slapshot from the right circle past Fallon to tie the score and send the game into an extra period.

In the first four minutes of overtime neither team had great opportunities. That changed when the Wildcats Jacob Micflikier checked Jeff Corey into the boards from behind. Corey was shaken up but was able to walk under his own power. Micflikier was immediately given a game misconduct and was ejected.

This left Vermont with a man advantage for the last 52 seconds. They created some great chances but were not able to find the back of the net as the final buzzer sounded, signaling the tie.

Joe Fallon ended the game with 14 saves to move to 8-3-1 on the season. Vermont outshot New Hampshire 34-30 in front of a sold out crowd of 4,003. This was the 25th straight sold out game at “The Gut” for the Cats.