Thomas Scores in Overtime to Send Vermont Past Massachusetts, 4-3
Freshman defenseman Cory Thomas scores in overtime for Catamounts

Freshman defenseman Cory Thomas scored in overtime for the Catamounts
Prd Time  Team Score Type Scored By Assists
1st 11:04  VER1-0 EV Ross Colton (16)Rob Darrar/10, Christian Evers/7
2nd 5:33  VER2-0 EV Matt Alvaro (5)Derek Lodermeier/8
2nd 7:29  UMA1-2 EV Austin Plevy (5)Jack Suter/3, Brett Boeing/7
2nd 18:27  UMA2-2 EV Mitchell Chaffee (13)Jake Gaudet/5
3rd 0:29  UMA3-2 EV Austin Albrecht (4)Josh Couturier/13, Jake McLaughlin/10
3rd 8:05  VER3-3 EV Rob Darrar (2) -
OT 0:12  VER4-3 EV GW Cory Thomas (1)Ross Colton/7, Matt Alvaro/13
Scoring 1st 2nd 3rd OT Final
Vermont  11114
Massachusetts  02103
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd OT SOG
Vermont  949123
Massachusetts  141810042
Team Stats and Records  PP PIM SHGF
Vermont (10-19-7)  0/4 6/12 0
Massachusetts (16-18-2)  0/3 7/14 0
Vermont Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 OT Saves
Stefanos Lekkas (W, 10-18-6)60:123 14169039
Massachusetts Goaltending MIN GA 1 2 3 OT Saves
Matt Murray (L, 9-12-2)60:124 838019

AMHERST, Mass. - For a second straight night, University of Massachusetts hockey battled back from a 2-0 deficit, but Vermont managed the game winner 12 seconds into overtime, defeating the Minutemen, 4-3 to force a deciding game in the teams' best-of-three Hockey East Opening Round series. The loss leaves UMass at 16-18-2 on the year, while the Catamounts improve to 10-19-7.

"That's a very disappointing way to lose that game," said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. "For me, it was a disappointing game overall. Again, we came out without much energy and again we go down two goals. I thought we finally started to play and then there were three penalties in the third period, which made it very difficult for us to try to manage the game. I thought tonight's game was uncharacteristic for us. We played a team that was fighting for their lives, and I thought some of the goals they scored were more so us playing poorly than them creating the offense. There have not been many times this year that I haven't been happy with the way we played, but tonight's one that I'm not. We weren't ready to match their desperation. You have to when a team is on the brink of their season ending. Now our team is on the brink of our season ending. Fortunately, I have a lot of faith in this team and I fully expect that we'll be pretty well-prepared to play our best game of the year on Sunday."

Vermont opened the scoring 11:04 into the first. Seconds after a penalty to senior Jake Horton expired, Rob Darrar and Christan Evers set up a Ross Colton one-timer from the right faceoff circle.

The Catamounts pushed their lead to 2-0 at the 5:33 mark of the second. Derek Lodermeier picked up a UMass turnover in the slot and fed Matt Alvaro for a close-range strike.

Junior Austin Plevy cut the Minutemen's deficit in half 7:29 into the second period. Plevy finished off a pass from sophomore Jack Suter and junior Brett Boeing on the rush for his fifth of the season.

Freshman Mitchell Chaffee then tied the score at 2-2 late in the frame. After receiving the puck from freshman Jake Gaudet, Chafee curled and fired a shot past Stefanos Lekkas from the left faceoff circle 18:27 into the period. The tally marked his team-leading 13th of the year, matching the second-most goals by a freshman in UMass' Hockey East era, equaling P.J. Fenton's total from 2004-05.

The Minutemen then took the lead, 3-2, 29 seconds into the third period. Off a feed from redshirt sophomore Josh Couturier and sophomore Jake McLaughlin, freshman Austin Albrecht skated in on Lekkas and batted a bouncing puck out of the air past the UVM netminder.

Vermont managed to tie the score, though, at the 8:05 mark of the third. Darrar picked off a UMass clearing attempt and sent it past freshman Matt Murray for the equalizer.

Cory Thomas netted the game winner for the Catamounts off the opening faceoff in overtime, set up by Ross Colton and Matt Alvaro 12 seconds into the extra frame.

UMass nearly doubled up UVM in shots, 42-23, and won 35-of- 66 (53%) of the faceoffs on the evening. The Minutemen were 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Catamounts were 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Murray made 19 saves in net for UMass and Lekkas totaled 39 stops for Vermont.

The teams will be back in action on Sunday, March 4, with the deciding game three of the best-of-three Hockey East Opening Round matchup set for 3 p.m. at the Mullins Center.