Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
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ORONO, ME. — A classic goaltender’s duel ended scoreless as Stefanos Lekkas recorded a 33-save shutout and Jeremy Swayman recorded a 30-save shutout Saturday evening at Alfond Arena.
“Incredible turnaround by our team tonight,” said head coach Kevin Sneddon. “Both goaltenders were outstanding. I am very proud of my team and look forward to senior weekend. Congrats to Red and UMaine on a great weekend.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Neither team found the back of the net in the opening frame despite a power play chance for both sides. Vermont’s best chance was a five-minute opportunity halfway through the frame as Simon Butala picked up a major penalty for boarding Bryce Misley.
The second period saw much of the same as the first frame with neither team finding a goal. Stefanos Lekkas recorded 14 saves in the frame, including a pair of Black Bear oddman rushes early in the frame.
Another scoreless period pushed the game to overtime without a goal. Jeremy Swayman recorded 10 saves in the frame, including a massive save on a Derek Lodermeier breakaway.
Vermont finished the overtime period with a 4-2 advantage in shots, playing the majority of the five-minute extra period in the Maine zone.
Vermont was 0-for-3 on power play chances and Maine was 0-for-
Tonight’s scoreless tie is just the second in program history. The last came on February 21, 2015, when Merrimack and Vermont skated 65 minutes without a goal at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
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Vermont hosts Northeastern (17-10-3, 10-9-1 HEA) in a Hockey East series next weekend at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Both games are scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. and Saturday’s game is Senior Night presented by the UVM Alumni Association.
BURLINGTON –– Theresa Schafzahl’s tying goal with 6:48 left in regulation helped Vermont (10-16-8, 7-14-6 HEAW) force a 2-2 draw against Maine (13-13-8, 9-11-7 HEAW) in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon. The Catamounts honored Abby Cleary, Allie Granato, Ali O’Leary, and Ève-Audrey Picard as well as Team Impact member Kayla Kruk on Senior Day, presented by the UVM Alumni Association.
“Credit to our seniors for rallying us tonight,” said head coach Jim Plumer. “We showed our character with the comeback and I think this was the kind of game that will prepare us for playoffs.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
UVM grabbed the lead 3:36 into the game when Maude Poulin-Labelle notched her 12th goal of the season. Abby Cleary found the blueliner at the top of the right circle where she rifled a wrist shot past Carly Jackson (22 saves). Hailey Burns was credited with the secondary assist.
The Black Bears answered at the midway point of the second period on Tereza Vanisova’s 13th marker of the 2019-20 campaign. Taylor Leech dished a pass to Britany Colton who quickly sent a shot on net that left a rebound for Vanisova to clean up.
Liga Miljone gave Maine a 2-1 lead in the final minute of the middle frame. The sophomore jammed a loose puck past Blanka Škodová (19 saves) for her 10th goal of the season. Ida Press and Ali Beltz assisted on the go-ahead goal.
Ali O’Leary and Ellice Murphy set up Schafzahl’s tying goal late in the third period. O’Leary dished a pass to Murphy on the rush where she quickly sent a shot that was hard to handle for Jackson. Schafzahl crashed the net and poked the loose puck into the back of the net for her team-leading 14th goal of the season.
Vermont nearly took the lead minutes later when O’Leary fought to keep the puck in the zone and Shanahan deked around a Maine defender before testing the Black Bear goaltender.
The conference foes exchanged one shot each in overtime. Sara Levesque directed a shot through traffic in the final seconds, but Jackson was able to get a pad on it.
Poulin-Labelle tied the single-season record for most goals by a UVM defenseman, which was originally set by Dayna Colang in the 2013-14 season.
Eighth-seeded Vermont will be traveling to top-seeded Northeastern for the Hockey East Quarterfinals. It is the second consecutive season that the Catamounts and Huskies clash in the first round of the conference playoffs. The best-of-three series kicks off at Matthews Arena on Thursday (Feb. 27) at 1 p.m. Game 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 28), followed by Game 3 if necessary on Saturday (Feb. 29) at 7 p.m.