ORONO, Maine – Peter Housakos and Canon Pieper scored third period goals for the University of Maine men’s hockey team but the University of Vermont’s Ross Colton scored two of his own to scratch out a 2-2 Hockey East tie on Friday night at Alfond Arena.
The tie bumps Maine to 5-7-1 overall and 3-4-1 in conference action and puts Vermont at 4-9-2 overall and 1-5-2 in league play.
Maine started the game aggressively, putting 17 shots on goal in the first frame alone. The best chance of the period for the Black Bears came six minutes in when Chase Pearson slid a puck to Eduards Tralmaks at the right circle for a one-timer, only to have Stefanos Lekkas turn it away. At the other end of the ice, Jeremy Swayman made a nifty glove save through traffic with three minutes to go in the period to keep it scoreless.
It was Tralmaks that set up Mitchell Fossier in the second period, floating a pass across the low slot towards the left post, but the shot went wide left.
After the two periods of scoreless play, Peter Housakos gave Maine a 1-0 lead with his second goal of the year. Off a turnover in the neutral zone, Cedric Lacroix carried the puck along the left wing and into the Vermont zone. Lacroix threw the puck on net where Housakos deflected it out of the air near the right post and into the back of the net.
Just under four minutes later, Pieper’s second goal of the year extended Maine’s lead to 2-0. Tim Doherty worked along the boards to the right of the Vermont net, freeing up the puck to Pieper who took control at the top of the right faceoff dot. Pieper shook his defender before walking in and sniping a shot by Lekkas with 9:11 left in regulation.
The Black Bears were unable to hold the lead and Vermont’s Colton, who entered Friday’s action with five of his eight goals coming on the power play, added another, 13:26 into the third. Puffer slid the puck to O’Donnell who found Colton at the top of the right faceoff circle for a one-timer that found its way by Jeremy Swayman.
When Maine was whistled for a penalty with 1:48 to play, the Catamounts pulled Lekkas in favor of an extra attacker. The strategy paid off with Colton tying the game on his 10th goal of the season. Brian Bowman won the draw to the Swayman’s left. Derek Lodermeier backhanded a pass out to Colton who again collected and one-timed a shot from the top of the right faceoff circle, tying the game with 1:43 remaining.
The Black Bears and Catamounts battled back and fourth in the overtime period – combining for nine shots alone in the five minutes of play – but neither team could find the net again.
Maine held the final edge in shots on goal (43-24) while Vermont had the edge at the dot (37-31). Swayman (4-3-1) finished with 22 saves while Lekkas (4-9-2) had 41.
Vermont and Maine will be back at it tomorrow, with the puck drop set for 5 p.m. at Alfond Arena.