DURHAM, N.H. -H.T. Lenz scored the game-tying goal with 14 seconds remaining in regulation and Drew MacKenzie struck for the game-winner at 1:38 of overtime to lift the University of Vermont men's hockey team to Friday night's 4-3 victory against the University of New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which entered the game with a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1), falls to 12-15-3 overall. All of the Wildcats' five losses in the 2012 calendar year have been by one goal, including four in overtime. UVM snapped a seven-game losing streak to improve to 6-22-1, 3-18-1.
Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.) matched his career high of two points with a goal and an assist for the Wildcats and Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) recorded his 50th career assist with a helper on the tally that gave UNH a 3-2 lead at 9:16 of the third period. Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) was credited with 17 saves.
MacKenzie (goal, assist) and Lenz (two goals) tallied multiple points for the Catamounts while Rob Madore stopped 30 shots, including two in overtime.
Trailing 3-2 with 58 seconds remaining in the third period, UVM called time out and pulled Madore in favor of an extra skater. The visitors immediately pressured and Lenz was denied by DeSmith at the left doorstep. UNH cleared the puck into the neutral zone with 48 seconds on the clock. The Catamounts regrouped and reentered the attack zone with 25 seconds remaining. MacKenzie moved the puck from the right point across to Sebastian Stalberg in the left circle. Stalberg slipped a pass to the high slot, where Lenz's shot sailed into the upper-right corner of the net to tie the score, 3-3, at 19:46.
UNH threatened in the opening minute of the extra session and Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) snapped a wrist shot that was snared by Madore's glove. Less than one minute later, Madore denied Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.) from close range to extend the game.
Vermont quickly counterattacked as Anthony DeCenzo advanced into the right circle and fed a centering pass to Mike Montagna, whose initial shot was blocked in front. MacKenzie corralled the puck at the left doorstep, however, and deposited the puck into the net to end the game.
The Wildcats generated a 12-6 shot advantage and skated to a 2-1 lead in the first period. UVM carried play in the opening minutes, however, and Montagna's wrist shot from the right circle ricocheted off the near post.
The teams exchanged goals 35 seconds apart in the eighth minute of the opening stanza. UNH struck first at 7:18 when Knodel kept the puck in the offensive zone at the left point and fed a centering pass to Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.). McCarey swung the puck to the right circle for Scott Pavelski (Plover, Wis.), who snapped a shot into the upper-right corner of the cage.
UVM pulled even at 7:53 when Michael Paliotta's low slap shot from the left point was redirected by Lenz, who was positioned between two UNH skaters in the low slot, inside the right post. Anders Franzon was also credited with an assist.
New Hampshire regained the lead, 2-1, on Knodel's power-play goal at 19:10. Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) initiated the scoring sequence with a pass to Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) at the left point. Silengo slid a pass to Knodel in the high slot, and his blast sailed into the upper-right corner of the net.
A total of seven minor penalties were called in the second period, which included a pair of matching penalties and produced a 4-on-3 power play for the Wildcats and 24 seconds of 3-on-3 action. With both teams skating at full strength, UVM generated a dangerous scoring opportunity in the 15th minute when Montagna led a rush down the right wing and maneuvered to the slot before backhanding a shot on DeSmith, and the puck emerged from a scrum to trickle wide right.
UVM leveled the score, 2-2, at 8:31 of the third period when Paliotta converted Kyle Reynolds' centering pass from the left point into a goal from the high slot. Brett Breuneteau also set up the tally.
UNH regained the lead, 3-2, at 9:16 when Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) found Goumas alone in front of the net to finish off a tic-tac-toe scoring play initiated by Moses on the right wing.
New Hampshire and Vermont conclude the two-game series Feb. 18 (7 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center. It is Senior Day for the Wildcats, who will pay tribute to the Class of 2012 prior to opening faceoff.