Senior Chris McCarthy scores at 19:07 of third period for Catamounts

Senior Chris McCarthy scored at 19:07 of the third period for the Catamounts

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Chris McCarthy fired the game-tying goal past Alex Lyon with 53 seconds left in regulation on a 6-on-5 as 20th-ranked Vermont fought back for a 3-3 tie with defending national champion Yale in non-conference action on Saturday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Catamounts push their record to 10-6-3 (4-5-0 HEA), while the Bulldogs move to 7-3-4 (3-2-3 ECAC).

Yale struck first less then five minutes into the contest as the Bulldogs won an offensive zone faceoff back to Ryan Obuchowski. The defenseman wristed a low shot on target as Mike Santaguida went to the butterfly to make the initial save, but the rebound sat for Jesse Root in the slot and he tucked it over Santaguida's blocker.

The Catamounts answered less than five minutes later as McCarthy led a transition rush up the ice. McCarthy deked into the Yale zone and dished a feed to the left circle for Rob Hamilton. The rookie unleashed a wrist shot that was kicked out by Alex Lyon, but Brendan Bradley was waiting at the right doorstep and steered the loose puck into the open net.

With 1:34 remaining in the opening frame, Yale restored the lead on a transition play of its own. Carson Cooper skated down the left wing with speed and gained the UVM blue line on a 2-on-1 with John Hayden. The center slid a pass into the slot for Hayden, who delayed before beating Santaguida with a low shot inside the left post.

The Bulldogs took a 2-1 into the second period, which was delayed for nearly 25 minutes after a hit from Connor Brickley in the right corner of the Yale zone. Vermont had several odd-man rushes broken up by Yale back-checkers in the period, and Santaguida made a huge pad save on a net-front scramble late in the frame to keep the 2-1 score intact.

Vermont tied the game for the second time on a scrum in front of the Yale net. Mario Puskarich narrowly missed the net on a one-timer from the right doorstep, but the Catamounts worked the puck back in front. McCarthy dug it out of a pile at the top of the crease and pushed a shot over Lyon to knot the score. Bradley had the primary assist on the play at 8:59.

Later in the third, defenseman Gus Young sprung Kenny Agostino on a partial breakaway as he split the UVM defense pair down the middle. Agostino skated in alone on net, deked to his backhand, and snuck a low shot inside the left post to put the Bulldogs on top by one for the third time in the game.

Vermont pulled Santaguida for an extra skater with roughly 70 seconds left in the contest and worked the puck into the left side of the Yale zone. Puskarich nudged an indirect pass up the wall to Brickley, who fed McCarthy in stride toward the left faceoff circle. The senior co-captain glided below the dot and rifled a wrister past Lyon's blocker to tie the game in dramatic fashion.

Jonathan Turk had two chances in overtime from the slot but had one blocked and the second saved by Lyon, who finished the night with 32 saves. Santaguida also stopped 32 shots at the other end. UVM's penalty kill, which entered the night third in the country, went a perfect 4-for-4 and finished the weekend 7-for-7.

Vermont returns to action next Tuesday (Jan. 7) with a trip to Canton, N.Y. to face the St. Lawrence Saints in non-conference action at 7 p.m. to begin an eight-game road swing. Pre-game radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on WVMT 620-AM and from Appleton Arena with Alastair Ingram on the call. UVM skated past St. Lawrence 5-1 at Gutterson Fieldhouse back on Dec. 14.