Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON –– Vermont skated to a 2-2 tie against 16th-ranked UMass Lowell on Senior Night, presented by UVM Alumni Association, to close the 2018-19 season Friday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
The Cats finish the season with a 12-19-3 overall record and 5-16-3 Hockey East mark. UMass Lowell concludes the regular season with an 18-11-5 overall record (12-7-5 HEA).
“I didn’t know what to expect tonight, we’re so banged up and UML had something to prove and fight for,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “We started off the game extremely strong. They took over in different spots. It was kind of a momentum swing back and forth, a typical Lowell-UVM kind of game.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Captain Matt O’Donnell gave Vermont the early lead at 6:21 of the first during 4-on-4 play. The junior received a pass from sophomore Max Kaufman in the slot and fired a low glove-side shot past UML goalie Tyler Wall (25 saves). Christian Evers picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
River Hawk senior Ryan Dmowski tied the game at 14:31 of the opening period with a backhand tally from the slot. Conor Sodergren and Charlie Levesque assisted on the equalizer.
Derek Lodermeier and Nick Master traded goals in the opening 1:10 of the second period to bring the game to 2-2. Lodermeier buried a rebound from Joey Cipollone 42 seconds into the period before Master’s equalizer just 28 seconds later.
After the quick pair of goals to open the second, neither team scored in the remaining 38:50 of gameplay to send the game to overtime with a 2-2 score.
The River Hawks held a 3-2 advantage in shots during the overtime period, but Lekkas and the Catamount defense stood tall and the game concluded in a 2-2 tie.
Seniors Liam Coughlin, Conor O’Neil, and Craig Puffer played in front of a Gutterson Fieldhouse crowd for the final time.
Lekkas became just the fifth Catamount goalie to start every game in one season and first since Brody Hoffman in 2012-13. He is just the third Cat to start every game in the last 45 seasons.
O’Donnell and Cipollone joined Lekkas as the only other Catamounts to play in every game in 2018-19. O’Donnell finishes his junior season with 79 consecutive games played.