BURLINGTON, Vt. – Ninth-ranked Vermont and Northeastern skated to a 2-2 tie in front of the 38th straight sellout crowd of 4,003 at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Friday night in the Hockey East opener for the Catamounts. With the tie Vermont moves to 2-0-1 on the season (0-0-1, Hockey East) while Northeasten is 0-1-1 (0-1-1, Hockey East).
“We learned a lesson tonight,” Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. “Anybody can beat anybody on any given night. Northeastern came in and worked really hard and did a nice job against us. We made a lot of mistakes and have to learn from it. We didn’t make a lot of mistakes last weekend, so it will be an important teaching week.”
Vermont took an early 1-0 lead at 7:10 of the first period when sophomore Dean Strong (Mississauga, Ontario) scored during a 5-on-3 for the Catamounts. Strong fired a one-timer from just inside the left circle past Northeastern freshman goalie Brad Thiessen off a pass from junior co-captain Torrey Mitchell (Greenfield Park, Quebec). Senior defenseman Ryan Gunderson (Bensalem, Pa.) also assisted on the play. It was the second goal of the season for Strong and the fourth assist of the year for Gunderson.
Northeastern responded by tying the game at one at 8:15 of the second period when sophomore Joe Vitale deflected a Joe Santilli shot past Vermont junior goalie Joe Fallon (Bemidji, Minn.).
The Catamounts regained the lead at 11:14 of the second period on the second career goal for senior defenseman Arthur Femenella (Annandale, N.J.). Femenella fired a shot from just inside the blue line on the right wing for the score to make it 2-1 UVM. Sophomore Peter Lenes (Shelburne, Vt.) and Mitchell each assisted on the goal.
Less than two minutes later the Huskies tied the game at two on a power-play goal by freshman defenseman David Stratham. Stratham went virtually the length of the ice down the right side and scored on a shot from the right circle.
Neither team was able to score in the third period or overtime and the game ended in a 2-2 tie. Fallon made 19 saves for UVM and Thiessen made 24 for Northeastern. The Catamounts outshot the Huskies 26 to 21.
The Catamounts return to action next weekend when they welcome Michigan Tech to Gutterson Fieldhouse on Friday (Oct. 20) and Saturday (Oct. 21). Both games start at 7:05pm. The first 1,000 fans to next Friday's game will receive a 2006-07 men's and women's hockey magnet schedule courtesy of Marcos' Pizzeria. The first 2,500 fans will also receive thundersticks courtesy of Adelphia. Next Saturday it's Halloween at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Wear your costume!
GAME NOTES ... Dating back to last season Joe Fallon had a streak of 154:48 without allowing a goal against the Huskies before NU scored in the second period ... Vermont is 8-0-1 in October in the last two years ... Vermont is 4-0-1 in the last five meetings against Northeastern ... Vermont leads the all-time series against the Huskies 16-11-2 ... UVM is 17-14-12 in home openers since moving to the Division I level in 1974.