Saturday, February 13, 2016

Controversial Goal Leads to Vermont Victory Over UNH

Junior Tyler Kelleher
Joins UNH Century Club

DURHAM, NH - UNH welcomed the Vermont Catamounts into the Whittemore Center Friday night as they looked to build off of a victory against #8 UMass-Lowell last Saturday night.

Both teams came out roaring in the first, but it was the Wildcats that would strike first. Just seconds into the first power play of the game Andrew Poturalski ripped a shot off Vermont goalie Packy Munson’s outside pad where a rebound was left for the picking. Tyler Kelleher snuck into the slot and put it home at 7:54 of the first and UNH took the 1-0 lead.

When scoring first this season, UNH was 6-0-3, so things were looking good for the Wildcats.

UNH sophomore goalie Danny Tirone held strong for the remainder of the first and kept 13 Vermont shots out of the back of the net.

The second period was a bit different. Vermont’s dismal power play came into the game ranked dead last in the nation with an 11% success rate. However, freshman Liam Coughlin scored on UVM's first power play just 2:18 into the second period to tie the game 1-1.

Less than two minutes later, UNH capitalized on a 5-on-3 power play when sophomore Michael McNicholas made a nifty move around goalie Munson and buried the goal. McNicholas' second goal of the season came at 4:55 of the second and gave UNH a 2-1 lead. Tyler Kelleher and Poturalski assisted on the goal. It was a major milestone for Kelleher who reached point number 100 in his UNH career.

After UNH gained the lead, the special teams fiasco continued. Alexx Privitera knotted it up again with the 5 on 3 man advantage at 10:16 of the second period. The goal appeared to take the wind out of UNH’s sails.

Just when it looked like the teams were headed to second intermission, Conor O’Neil slid his skates into a rebound off Tirone’s leg and it found the back of the net with 26 seconds left in the second making it 3-2. The play was reviewed by the referees who decided that O'Neil had not kicked the puck into the net. When Head Coach Dick Umile subsequently saw the slow-motion replay on the center-ice video board, he was furious. He stepped in front of his team on the bench and smacked the side of the boards in frustration.

As for trailing after the second period, that’s also a different story for UNH. Coming into the night, the Wildcats were 0-11-1 when facing a deficit after two periods. In other words, the second period was huge for the Catamounts. The record held true.

UNH fought until the final minute when Tirone was pulled for an extra skater but were unable to equalize in the end and fell 3-2.

The win pulled UVM 2 points ahead of UNH in the Hockey East standings. These two teams meet again tomorrow at 5:00 at the Whittemore Center where UNH will look to get revenge.

Here are the video highlights of the game courtesy of UNH Athletics:

Box Score


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