Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON, Vt. – Third period power play goals from Ross Colton and Anthony Petruzzelli forced overtime, but the Catamounts fell 4-3 to No. 12 Northeastern in the extra frame to snap their seven-game unbeaten streak on Green Out The Gut presented by Casella at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Petruzzelli recorded his first career multi-goal game as UVM dropped to 9-16-6 (6-10-5 HEA) but retained its grasp on the eighth and final home-ice spot in the Hockey East standings. Cayden Primeau recorded 32 saves as the Huskies improved to 18-8-5 (12-6-3 HEA), ending a Vermont unbeaten run which was tied for the longest in the nation.
The Huskies struck early on a shorthanded goal by Zach Solow at 2:56 in the opening frame. Nolan Stevens recovered the puck off the faceoff and sent a pass to Jeremy Davies, who wristed a shot that was blocked and ricocheted to the slot. Solow stepped up and slapped the puck past the glove of Stefanos Lekkas (22 saves) for the game’s first goal.
Dylan Sikura added to the lead two minutes later on the power play for his 15th tally of the season. NU set up in the Catamounts’ zone and Sikura cut to the middle before passing to Davies at the left point. Davies faked a shot and wired a weak-side pass back to Sikura for a one-timer that put the Huskies up 2-0 in the first five minutes. Solow earned his second point of the night with an assist on the marker.
Vermont almost drew one back shortly after when Colton and Alex Esposito neared the Huskies’ goal on a 2-on-1. Colton feathered a pass to Esposito who slipped the puck through his legs to his forehand, but was stopped by Primeau on the doorstep.
Bryce Misley fired a pass from the neutral zone minutes later that found Petruzzelli streaking into the Northeastern zone. The assistant captain motioned for a pass before snapping a shot glove side to cut the lead in half. Matt O’Donnell was credited with the secondary assist on Petruzzelli’s fourth of the season.
The Catamounts nearly tied the game in the opening minutes of the second period when Petruzzelli directed a shot off the left pad of Primeau, but the rookie netminder slid across to stifle Misley on the rebound.
NU stretched its lead back to two just past the midway point of the game when Adam Gaudette rifled a one-timer on the man-advantage for his nation-best 25th goal of the season. Sikura found Gaudette in the high slot as he beat Lekkas glove side for the Huskies’ second power play goal of the night.
UVM capitalized on the power play with 9:20 left in the third period to get back to within one on Colton’s eighth power play tally of the year. Craig Puffer pedaled toward the crease and jammed a shot off the pads of Primeau, leaving a rebound for Colton to walk in and clean up for his team-leading 15th of the season.
The Catamounts pulled Lekkas to bring on the extra attacker in the final minutes during a power play for a 6-on-4 advantage. After sustained possession in the offensive zone, Liam Coughlin collected the puck below the goal line and sent a pass to the right doorstep. This time on the edge of the crease, it was Petruzzelli who hammered the puck home with a first-time effort to tie the game and force overtime.
Northeastern clinched the game when John Picking chopped a loose puck past Lekkas at 1:57 in the extra frame. Patrick Schule applied pressure on the Catamounts’ defense, and Picking one-timed a deflection off a UVM skate to win the game.
Vermont returns to action on Saturday (Feb. 17) for Senior Night against Northeastern in the final home game of the regular season at 7:05 p.m.
Prior to Saturday’s game, UVM will hold a ceremony to honor the six members of the Class of 2018: Drew Best (graduating early), Travis Blanleil, Rob Darrar, Anthony Petruzzelli, Trey Phillips, and Jarrid Privitera. Tickets are available by logging on to UVMathletics.com/Tickets or by calling 802-656-4410.