Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
DURHAM, N.H. – New Hampshire (1-3-1, 1-0-0 HEA) scored a pair of third period goals to send the game to overtime and tallied the sudden-death winner to take a 3-2 win over the Vermont Catamounts (1-2-0, 0-1-0 HEA) Saturday night at the Whittemore Center.
“I want to congratulate Coach Souza on his first win,” head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “I did not think that we had enough players who competed tonight, and it showed on the first goal and on the overtime goal.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Alex Esposito opened the scoring at the 13:07 mark of the first period. Liam Coughlin forced a UNH defensive zone turnover that gave the puck to Esposito in the Wildcat slot for the goal.
Joey Cipollone scored his second in as many games cleaning up a rebound from a Jake Massie breakaway chance. New Hampshire goalie Mike Robinson (19 saves) made a fantastic stop on Massie’s chance, but could not rob the Cats of a goal twice. Derek Lodermeier grabbed the secondary assist on the scoring play.
Vermont had a pair of power play chances and sustained pressure in the New Hampshire zone in the second period, but the Cats could not find the back of the net.
Jackson Pierson fought through traffic in front of the UVM crease and scored New Hampshire’s first goal of the game moments after a Vermont penalty expired early in the third period.
On New Hampshire’s second power play of the third, Marcus Vela battled in front of the Vermont net and slotted a rebound past Stefanos Lekkas (28 saves) to tie the game.
Early in overtime, Benton Maass pinched from the blue line and ripped a rebound shot over a sprawling Lekkas for his first goal of the season and New Hampshire’s first win of the season.
Lekkas became just the 10th Catamount goalie to record 2,000 career saves at the 14:51 mark of the third period.
Vermont takes on former ECAC rival Brown (0-1-0, 0-1-0 ECAC) Sunday evening at Meehan Auditorium in Providence, Rhode Island. The game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. and will air on NESN.