Men’s Hockey: Vermont Rallies in Third, Ties Maine 2-2

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON – Vermont stormed back from two goals down in third period to earn a 2-2 with Maine on Saturday afternoon in Hockey East action on Military Appreciation Day at Gutterson Fieldhouse. UVM extended its unbeaten streak to four games and sits at 7-3-2 (3-2-1 HEA) after a three-game week at home, while Maine pushed its record to 4-7-3 (1-4-1 HEA).

The Catamounts out-shot the Black Bears 45-26 and registered a new season-high in shots on goal. Rookie Derek Lodermeier posted a multi-point game with a goal and an assist.

Vermont registered a key penalty kill in the early minutes on a five-minute power play for the Black Bears. Maine nearly capitalized at the end of the major when it wristed a shot from the right circle and the rebound deflected high near the crease. Malcolm Hayes batted the puck out of mid-air into the net, but the goal was ruled to be scored with a high stick.

Brendan Robbins broke the deadlock for the Black Bears midway through the second period. Robbins cashed in on slap shot from the high left slot that beat Stefanos Lekkas (24 saves) glove side into the upper corner. Sam Becker dished the puck for Robbins and Keith Muehlbauer collected the secondary assist.

Maine doubled its lead just over a minute later on a low wrist shot by Patrick Shea. The freshman forward tucked the puck inside the far post from the right faceoff dot as the trailer on a 3-on-2. The lone assist went to Nolan Vesey and the Black Bears led 2-0.

Maine goaltender Rob McGovern (43 saves) denied rookie Ross Colton‘s backhand at the right post on a partial breakaway later in the frame and the Catamounts entered the third down a pair.

Vermont started the final frame strong and pulled within a goal at the 2:03 mark. Lodermeier turned a wrist shot on net from the slot and Tom Forgione knocked home the rebound from the top of the crease with his backhand through McGovern’s pads.

Lekkas followed by making the save of the season to keep the deficit at one. Maine created a 2-on-0 rush as Vesey skated around the UVM defense down the left wing before setting up Becker wide open at the back door. Lekkas quickly dove across his goalmouth and made a highlight reel glove save to deny the Maine defenseman.

With just under 12 minutes remaining in regulation and seconds after a Maine penalty kill, Lodermeier fired a low shot from the right point to tie the game 2-2 and record his second goal of the weekend. McGovern lost sight of the puck as it slipped inside the left post blocker side.

The game went into overtime, where Vermont out-shot Maine 4-0 but couldn’t grab the winner. UVM finished the contest 6-for-6 on the penalty kill and has now killed off 28 consecutive power plays.

Vermont travels to Belfast, Northern Ireland next week for the second annual Friendship Four. After Thanksgiving, the Catamounts face UMass in a league contest on Friday (Nov. 25) at 11 a.m. (ET), then play either Quinnipiac or St. Lawrence from the ECAC on Saturday, Nov. 26. Game time will be either 11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday depending on the Friday result against the Minutemen.

All four games of the tournament will be televised live on NESN as part of an ASN production. Pre-game radio coverage begins 30 minutes prior to faceoff on WVMT 620-AM and Catamounts All-Access with Alastair Ingram on the call. Ri Ra Irish Pub and Restaurant on Church Street will be hosting the Official Watch Party of the 2016 Friendship Four Tournament being played in Northern Ireland.