ORONO, Maine -- Vermont scored the lone goal of the third period to break a 2-2 tie and defeat the University of Maine 3-2 in men's ice hockey action on Friday night at Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine. The Black Bears got goals from Robby Dee (Plymouth, Minn.) and Matt Duffy (Windham, Maine) in the loss. Maine falls to 12-17-4 on the season and 7-14-3 in Hockey East play. Vermont improves to 18-8-5 on the campaign and 13-7-4 in conference play.
The Black Bears took advantage of an early slashing penalty on Vermont just 7:12 into the first period. With the extra skater, Maine's Jeff Dimmen (Colorado Springs, Colo.) raced into right side of the Catamount zone. As Dimmen drew closer, he dished the puck to Brian Flynn (Lynnfield, Mass.) streaking down the center of the ice just in front of the net. Flynn's shot was stuffed, but not secured giving Robby Dee the opportunity to knocked it through at 8:18 into the game. The goal was Dee's fifth of the season and gave the Black Bears an early 1-0 lead.
The lead was short-lived as Vermont answered a little under three minutes later on a score by defenseman Josh Burrows at 11:03 of the first period. Forward Corey Carlson picked up a loose puck in the left corner which he tipped over to linemate Colin Vock to avoid being checked into the boards. Vock quickly turned and fired a pass to Burrows stationed at the blue line next to the Maine bench. The sophomore ripped a shot through traffic and into the net for his fourth goal of the season, tying the game at 1-1.
Senior Matt Duffy made the most of his second to last home game by netting a power play goal at 9:47 of the second period. With the man advantage, the Black Bears were swarming around the Vermont net. A Catamount defender swung at a loose puck, sending it high and far in a clearing attempt, but the puck fell just short of the blue line and onto the stick of Tanner House (Cochrane, Alberta). House steadied the puck, froze the defense as he surveyed his teammates and then sent it to Duffy just a few feet to his left. Duffy wound up and unleashed a shot that seared past the Vermont goaltender, hit the left post and bounced in for his seventh goal of the season.
The Catamounts tied the score once more, just over three minutes after the Maine goal. On the power play attack the Catamounts' Burrows send the puck for a ride around the boards behind goaltender Scott Darling (Lemont, Ill.) and it was picked up by forward Justin Milo. Milo emerged from behind the net and hit linemate Dean Strong with a pass for a one-timer at 12:39 into the second period. The goal was Strong's fourth of the season.
Vermont scored the go-ahead power play goal early into the third period on a Dan Lawson shot from the point. Chris Atkinson picked up the puck along the boards in the near corner and sent it up to Cullity floating near the blue line. Cullity shifted the puck to Lawson at the center of the blue line for the shot. The score at 3:37 into the final period was Lawson's third of the season and ultimately proved to be the game-winner.
Maine played well and finished with a 32-26 edge in shots on goal in the game. The Black Bears were 2-for-6 on the power play, while Vermont finished the game 2-for-5 with the man-advantage.
Maine's Scott Darling made 23 saves in goal and falls to 9-10-3 on the season. Rob Madore stopped 30 shots for the Catamounts and improves to 11-6-4.
The Black Bears and Catamounts return to action on Saturday, February 28 when they conclude their Hockey East series. Maine will honor its four seniors: Jeff Marshall, Matt Duffy, Chris Hahn and Simon Danis-Pepin both before and after the game. Tickets remain for the game and can be purchased at the door.