Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON –– Clarkson’s Aaron Thow scored the game-winning goal with 18.7 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the 19th-ranked Golden Knights to a 3-2 victory over the Catamounts Sunday evening at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Vermont drops to 8-9-1 (1-6-1 HEA) overall while Clarkson improves to 12-6-0 overall (3-3-0 ECAC).
“We came out strong. We were physical. We were doing a lot of the little things really well,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “Disappointing loss but again in terms of us trying to get better before Hockey East play, this was a huge in the right direction compared to how we played really over the last two games. They’ve got a lot of good pieces to their puzzle right now but that being said, we’re a better team to having played them. I liked a lot of things we did tonight.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Bryce Misley tallied his first career goal 4:49 into the game to give the Cats an early 1-0 lead. The sophomore picked up the puck near the corner to Jake Kielly’s right and fired an off-angle shot that surprised the Golden Knight goalie and found the back of the net. Conor O’Neil and Christian Evers assisted on the goal.
The Golden Knights answered quickly, tying the game at 1-1 less than two minutes later at 6:34 of the period. Greg Moro fired a shot from the right point towards traffic in front, where Haralds Egle tipped the shot past Stefanos Lekkas (27 saves).
Clarkson’s John Carter MacLean broke the deadlock at 3:25 of the second period, firing a wrist shot over Lekkas’ shoulder on a 2-on-1 with assists from Marly Quince and Moro.
Clarkson captain Nico Sturm briefly made it 3-1 Clarkson near the end of the second period. However, the goal was waved off after a lengthy officials’ review that determined Vermont had touched the puck on a delayed penalty prior to the goal.
With just over seven minutes left in the third, Matt O’Donnell spun around a Clarkson defenseman on the blue line and fired a shot from the face-off circle to Kielly’s right. Liam Coughlin tipped the shot between the legs of Kielly for his third of the season to tie the game at 2-2.
At the tail end of a back-and-forth overtime period, Thow picked up a loose puck at the top of the slot after a scramble in front of the Catamount net. He fired a shot on goal with heavy traffic in the slot, and Lekkas was unable to see the shot as it found twine for the Golden Knight win. Egle and Moro assisted on the game-winner.
UVM now holds a 5-8-2 all-time record in games played on January 6. It was the first game played on this date since a 2007 meeting with New Hampshire.
Vermont finished the 2018-19 regular season with a 7-3-0 record against non-conference opponents, losing a pair of those games in overtime to ranked opponents.
Vermont returns to Hockey East play with a trip to second-ranked UMass (13-2-0, 7-1-0 HEA) next weekend. The Cats and Minutemen will meet at 7:05 p.m. on both Friday (Jan. 11) and Saturday (Jan. 12) at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. Friday night’s game will be televised on both NESN and TSN2.