BURLINGTON, Vt. - Matt White scored an equalizer midway through the final period and neither side could come up with a game-winning goal as Vermont and No. 8 New Hampshire skated to a 2-2 (ot) tie in Hockey East action at Gutterson Fieldhouse Saturday night.
Rob Madore (30 saves) and Matt DiGirolamo (40 saves) kept their team in the game, as both teams had a number of grade-A opportunities.
"I thought it was a great college hockey game," said Vermont head coach Kevin Sneddon. "I thought there were some real great momentum swings both ways, I couldn't be any more proud of the way our team played."
Vermont outshot New Hampshire 10-8 in the first frame (42-32 overall) and the Wildcats were able to survive a two-man disadvantage, as the score remained 0-0 heading into the first intermission.
Tobias Nilsson-Roos broke a scoreless tie at 5:58 of the second frame on a short-handed tally when he intercepted a pass and walked in alone on DiGirolamo. Nilsson-Roos deeked the New Hampshire netminder and stuffed the puck five-hole for a 1-0 lead. Josh Burrows got a stick on the interception and picked up his third assist in as many games.
The Catamount lead was short lived, as Mike Beck was able to find the back of the net 30 seconds after the Nilsson-Roos goal. New Hampshire was still on the power play when Stevie Moses carried the puck for the Wildcats into the Vermont zone and tossed a shot on net. Madore made the initial stop, but Beck was able to collect the carom and tie the game at 6:28 of the second period.
UNH took a 2-1 lead at 14:39 of the second stanza when a blast from the point from Blake Kessel ricocheted off the pads of Madore and onto the stick of Phil DeSimone. The Wildcat senior was able to poke the puck past Madore for his third goal of the weekend. Mike Sislo began the play and picked up the second assist.
The Catamounts were knocking on the door to even things up for much of the final frame and finally it was Matt White who buried a shot at 9:55. White was all alone in the slot when he took a centering feed from classmate Connor Brickley and fired a low wrist shot past DiGirolamo, bringing the crowd to its feet. H.T. Lenz picked up an assist on the play, as his hustle knocked the puck loose on the end boards.
"(H.T.) Lenz just came in and made a great hit and (Connor) Brickley was second in on the puck," said White. "I was just the third guy in and found the soft area by the circle. Connor gave me a great pass, I shot it and luckily it went in."
Vermont improves to 7-17-6 (5-13-5 HEA) and returns to action when it visits No. 15 Boston University (16-9-7, 13-5-5 HEA) in a two-game series, Friday (Feb. 25) at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday (Feb. 26) at 6:30 p.m. at Agganis Arena. Both games will be televised on New England Sports Network (NESN).
NESN is available on channel 39 throughout Vermont for Comcast subscribers. NESN is also available on channel 434 on DISH Network, channel 628 on DirecTV and channel 36 on Burlington Telecom. Pregame coverage for the Catamounts and Terriers will begin at 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday with Hockey East Face-Off Live. Video and stats of both games will be available on GoTerriors.com. The games will be broadcast on WVMT-620 AM and on the Internet at SportsJuice.com.
No. 8 New Hampshire moves to 18-7-5 (16-4-3 HEA) on the season and remains in first place in Hockey East by two points ahead of No. 1 Boston College.
"This is really the first 65-minute effort on the second night, where we had as much energy on the last shift as we did on the first," said Sneddon. "I think what the players are putting into their off-ice preparation right now is really starting to pay off and I just liked the way we played; we played on our toes the whole night."
NOTES: Burrows has three assists in as many games ... White scored his first goal at Gutterson Fieldhouse ... Two of Nilsson-Roos' four goals this season have come against New Hampshire ... Vermont now moves into a two-way tie for seventh place with Massachusetts in Hockey East ... The Catamounts are ahead of Providence (eighth seed) by three points after the Friars fell to No. 15 Boston Univeristy 1-0 ... Prior to tonight's game, the men's hockey team held an alumni game and luncheon to honor former Catamounts.