Men’s Hockey: Catamounts Rally to Tie BC 3-3

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

CHESTNUT HILL, MA. – Down 3-0 at the midway point of the first period, 16th-ranked Vermont rallied with a pair of goals in the third to earn a 3-3 Hockey East tie against No. 11 Boston College on Friday night at Conte Forum.

Rob Hamilton scored twice for his first career multi-goal game and netted the game-tying goal with less than three and a half minutes left in regulation. Brian Bowen and Mario Puskarich each posted multi-point efforts as the Catamounts fought for a key league point.
Sixth place UVM moved to 17-10-4 and 9-7-3 in Hockey East, climbing to within two points of a first round bye in the league playoffs with three games to go. BC pushed its record to 18-12-3 (13-4-2 HEA) and retained a three-point cushion for the No. 1 overall seed.

Less than two minutes into the contest, Michael Kim fired a slapshot that was blocked by a Catamount, but was picked up by Austin Cangelosi who fluttered it toward the net. Stefanos Lekkas (30 saves) made the initial save but Ryan Fitzgerald poked at the puck and was able to push it inside the right post at 1:37 for an early advantage.

Matthew Gaudreau doubled the lead as he entered the zone on a 2-on-1 with Cangelosi streaking down the right side. Gaudreau saucered a pass away from a sprawling Catamount defenseman onto the stick of Cangelosi, who one-timed it home from the right doorstep at the 3:48 mark.

David Cotton then gave BC a 3-0 cushion midway through the first, deflecting Scott Savage’s right point shot high glove side.

Vermont answered within a minute when Hamilton fired a rebound into an open net from inside the left faceoff dot for his first of the night. Puskarich and Bowen collected assists on the play as UVM cut the deficit to 3-1.

Puskarich and Bowen factored again at 8:21 of the third as the former forced a turnover that led the latter behind the Eagles’ defense for a partial breakaway. Bowen quickly faked on his forehand and beat Joseph Woll (24 saves) on the backhand top shelf to bring the Catamounts within one at 3-2.

Vermont pulled even with less than four minutes remaining after several quality offensive chances.Drew Best collected a rebound in the left circle and dropped a pass to Jake Massie in the high slot. Massie faked a shot and deferred wide into the right circle for Hamilton, who slapped a low one-timer past Woll to tie the game with 3:23 remaining.

Hamilton increased his career-high goal total to seven and registered Vermont’s 12th individual multi-goal performance of the season.

Both teams had chances to win the game in overtime. Julius Mattila was stopped by Lekkas on a 2-on-1, followed immediately by Woll turning aside a partial breakaway from Ross Colton. On the ensuing faceoff, Brady Shaw ripped a snap shot off the crossbar from the top of the left wing circle.

The line of Puskarich, Colton, and Bowen combined for 14 of UVM’s 27 shots on goal and finished the night with a plus-4 rating.

The teams return to Conte Forum on Saturday (Feb. 18) to close the series at 7 p.m. Live pay-per-view video is available at BCEagles.TV.