BURLINGTON, Vt. - No. 17 Vermont skated to a 2-2 with Merrimack at a sold out Gutterson Fieldhouse in Hockey East action on Friday night. Juniors Kyle Medvec (Burnsville, Minn.) and Jack Downing (New Canaan, Conn.) each scored goals for the Catamounts, who extended their unbeaten streak to four games and moved to 13-9-5 (7-8-5 HEA).
"I was really pleased with how well our guys battled all night," Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon said. "I thought it was two clubs that were scratching and clawing to get a point or two out of this game. It was playoff style hockey."
Sophomore goalie Rob Madore (Pittsburgh, Pa.) finished with 29 saves for the Catamounts while sophomore Joe Cannata turned away 28 shots for the Warriors.
Following a scoreless opening period in which the Catamounts hit two posts and out shot the Warriors 11-9, it was Merrimack (10-15-1, 7-11-1 HEA) that took a 1-0 lead at 7:54 of the second. Sophomore Ryan Flanigan tipped in a shot by freshman Kyle Bigos from the point to make it 1-0.
Vermont answered with a 5-on-3 power-play goal at 12:18. Medvec found the upper right corner of the net with a wrist shot from between the circles to tie the game at one. Freshmen Chris McCarthy (Collegeville, Pa.) and Sebastian Stalberg (Gothenburg, Sweden) both assisted.
The Catamounts took a 2-1 lead just 19 seconds into the final period on Downing's eight goal of the year. Senior co-captain Brian Roloff (West Seneca, N.Y.) setup Downing streaking down the seam in transition for the score. Sophomore Matt Marshall (Hingham, Mass.) also assisted.
Merrimack tied the game with 4:20 left when freshman Stephane Da Costa, who leads the nation in scoring for rookies, beat Madore with a wrister from the slot following a UVM turnover. It was the 12th goal of the year for Da Costa.
Vermont finished 1-for-5 on the power play and was 3-for-3 on the penalty against the Warriors, who rank second nationally on the man advantage.
Vermont completes the regular season series against Merrimack on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Gutterson Fieldhouse.