BURLINGTON, Vt. – Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) turned aside 30 shots to lift the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Saturday afternoon's 1-1 overtime tie with the University of Vermont at Gutterson Fieldhouse in Hockey East action.
UNH moves to 17-8-5 with a 12-7-4 mark in Hockey East. Vermont is now 10-15-5 overall, 7-11-5 HEA. The Wildcats take over sole possession of first place with 28 points in league play.
In a scoreless first period, Vermont had the better of play outshooting the Wildcats 8-2. UNH had a pair of power plays in the period, but could not register a shot on goal in those extra-skater opportunities.
Vermont broke the scoreless deadlock just 56 seconds into the second period. Jacob Fallon fired a puck from between the circles that beat Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) high glove side. Chris McCarthy and Kyle Reynolds assisted on the goal. UNH would even things up on the power play at 8:53 as Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) fired a shot from the top of the point that hit a Vermont defender on its way into the net. Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.) and Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia) assisted on the goal. In a fast-paced period, Vermont held a slim 11-8 shot advantage.
In a fast-paced open third period, neither team was able to crack the scoreboard. The Wildcats had numerous chances including a Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alberta) shot that clanged the pipe just inside of the 11-minute mark and a grade A bid by Austin Block (Thousands Oak, Calif.) just before time expired in regulation. The Catamounts held a 12-9 shot edge in the period.
The Wildcats controlled play in overtime recording the only three shots on goal during the extra time, but Vermont held a 31-22 shot advantage in the game.
DeSmith made double-digit saves in the second and third periods and moves to 16-6-5 on the season. UVM's Brody Hoffman stopped 21 shots and is now 10-15-5 on the season.
The Wildcats were 1-for-4 on the power play and scored four power play goals during the two-game series. UVM was 0-1 in the extra-man.
UNH, which will play its final four games at home, returns to action next weekend with a two-game series against Massachusetts on March 1-2. Friday night's game is set for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop, while game time Saturday is 7 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on WBIN-TV and FOX College Sports Atlantic. For tickets, visit www.unhwildcats.com or call (603) 862-4000, extension 5.