Final, UNH 5-4 (OT): And that's the game, folks. Peter LeBlanc notches his 12th of the season, grabbing a turnover at the blue line, fanning on his first attempt, then almost letting UVM clear the puck before regaining control and firing it past Rob Madore on the stick side.
This is UNH's third overtime win in its last eight games, and the Wildcats improve to 13-0-2 when scoring four or more goals.
The Catamounts, meanwhile, have just one win in their last seven games, and this one really has to hurt. They came from behind four times in Hockey East's most intimidating venue only to fall in overtime with nothing to show for their effort.
They'll get another crack at it on Saturday night, but you can't help but feel like this loss was demoralizing.
Scoring in regulation for the Wildcats were Phil DeSimone, Matt Campanale, Stevie Moses and Bobby Butler. The Catamounts got goals from Brayden Irwin, Patrick Cullity, Jonathan Higgins and Colin Vock.
Overtime, 4:39, 4-4: The final shot count: UVM outshot the Wildcats 42-24 in regulation.
End of regulation, 4-4: After eight goals in the first 40 minutes, there were zero in the final 20 and we're headed to overtime.
The Catamounts are 0-0-5 in overtime this season, while the Wildcats are 2-1-4.
Third period, 2:47, 4-4: We're inside three minutes here, and both offenses are turning it up a notch. Lots of end-to-end action.
Vermont is outshooting UNH 38-23.
Third period, 6:40, 4-4: Billy Bulter charges Rob Madore in a 1-on-1 but the puck deflects off Madore's chest.
Third period, 8:12, 4-4: Stevie Moses grabs a turnover in the neutral zone and takes the puck all the way up the left side but loses the handle on it right before he can put it on net.
Third period, 9:28, 4-4: Plenty of good chances there for UNH — particularly a Blake Kessel one-timer that went wide with about 30 seconds left — but UVM kills off the 5-on-3.
Third period, 11:23, 4-4: And the opportunity becomes even greater for UNH, as Stevie Moses gets crushed into the boards by UVM's Kevan Miller.
UNH will have the 5-on-3 for 1:40.The Wildcats are just three for their last 32 on the PP.
Third period, 11:32, 4-4: Penalty against UVM's Colin Vock, who cross-checks Matt Campanale along the boards. Another big chance here for the Wildcats; will they take advantage?
This is UNH's fourth power play.
Third period, 12:52, 4-4: Coming off a faceoff, there's a loose puck in front of the UVM net and Kevin McCarey almost makes the Catamounts pay but Rob Madore hauls in the puck.
Third period, 15:29, 4-4: Phil DeSimone clears the puck with about 20 seconds left in the power play and that pretty much does it. The Catamounts barely get a chance, so the kill could end up being a big momentum swing for the Wildcats.
Third period, 17:52, 4-4: UVM gets a big opportunity, here, as Kevin McCarey lays a hit from behind in center ice.
End of second period, 4-4: The Catamounts have come from behind four times in this one. Can they finally take a lead?
You have to feel like UVM has played so hard in this one that a loss is going to be devastating (even without the postseason implications). The Catamounts came into the Whittemore Center, fought back against four one-goal deficits and head into the third period with the chance to earn its first win in its last six games. Not to mention the fact that UVM has totally taken the crowd out of this one.
UNH hasn't lost this season when scoring four or more goals; will tonight be the first time?
Second period, 2:52: 4-4: Guess what?
Yeah. UVM ties it again.
Sebastian Stalberg dishes from right in front of the net to Colin Vock on the right side, who suddenly faces the empty net and scores easily.
Big momentum burst for UVM after killing off that penalty.
Second period, 5:31, UNH 4-3: UVM's Matt Marshall is in the box for hooking.
UNH is 1-for-2 on the power play and has two shots on goal.
Second period, 6:04, UNH 4-3: The 4-on-4 has hereby ended.
Bad news for the Catamounts: UNH is 12-0-2 this season when scoring four or more goals.
Second period, 7:25, UNH 4-3: And there's the dangerous Bobby Butler playing hero for the Wildcats. He jumps on a rebound right outside the crease and sneaks it past the outstretched leg of Rob Madore.
That's Butler's 10th goal in his last 11 games.
Second period, 8:10, 3-3: Foster makes a save on David Pacan's wraparound bid, and there's an ensuing traffic jam in front of the net.
Once again, after scoring, the Catamounts have seized control of the rhythm. They're playing much more confident now than they were five minutes ago. For obvious reasons.
Blake Kessel and Jonathan Higgins are in the sin bin for that tussle in front of the net.
Second period, 9:57, 3-3: Yes, yes they can. The Catamounds tie the game once again, as Drew MacKenzie shoots from the blue line, Sebastian Stalberg gets a handle on the rebound and sends it to Jonathan Higgins for the score.
The fact that they can't hold a lead has to be getting in the Wildcats' heads right about now.
Second period, 11:35, UNH 3-2: NESN color commentator Craig Janney shares this interesting tidbit: UVM coach Kevin Sneddon is already working with a short bench, so he loves these NESN games for their extra timeout breaks.
I'm sure the fans love them, too.
UVM is outshooting UNH 20-11.
Second period, 12:16, UNH 3-2: Brian Roloff takes the puck at center ice, brings it up and gets a shot off from the left circle but Brian Foster makes a perfect glove save.
Whereas UVM looked aggressive and hungry in the first, it looks a bit tentative here in the second and UNH is seizing control of the tempo.
Second period, 12:48, UNH 3-2: UVM's Brayden Irwin shoots one in from the slot and Brian Foster makes the save with his shoulder. Whatever works.
Second period, 16:44, UNH 3-2: Perfect shot by Stevie Moses. After Mike Sislo gets a ton of space at the blue line, he feeds to Moses down low and Moses fires it in from the left circle. It's his second goal of the season and his first since Oct. 17.
Once again, UNH strikes first in the frame; can UVM play from behind again?
Second period, 18:06, 2-2: Colin Vock snags a turnover on the blue line and fires it in but Brian Foster gets off on the right foot, making the stop.
Second period, 19:36, 2-2: The power play is successfully killed off by the Catamounts. UNH is now 1-for-2.
UVM outshot the Wildcats 13-9 in the first period; we'll see if it can keep it up.
End of first period, 2-2: Quite an exciting first period. Vermont looked doomed from the start after allowing a goal to Phil DeSimone 27 seconds in — but the Catamounts rebounded quickly with a Brayden Irwin tally, then fell behind again, then retied the game at 2. And all of it happened within the first 6:46.
Since then, the action has calmed down substantially, but Vermont has remained aggressive and hungry, and for good reason. The Catamounts have won just one of their last six and are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since they joined Hockey East.
Both teams are 1-for-1 on the power play, and UNH has 16 seconds left on Kyle Medvec's penalty.
First period, 1:44, 2-2: UNH will get its second power play, as Kyle Medvec heads into the box for interference.
UNH will have about 16 seconds left on the man advantage when the second period begins.
First period, 5:35, 2-2: UVM's Colin Vock makes a steal at center ice and tries to connect with Brayden Irwin in front of the net but can't hit him.
Shortly thereafter, Josh Burrows fires one on net, but Rob Madore deflects the puck with his glove.
First period, 6:45, 2-2: Bobby Butler fires a shot on Rob Madore coming off a faceoff.
Butler, the Wildcats captain, has 22 goals (third in NCAA) and 20 assists this season (one helper tonight), and he has nine goals and nine assists in his last 11 games.
First period, 9:33, 2-2: Since their second goal, the Catamounts have been pretty dominant offensively. Brian Foster has held strong, but he's had his work cut out for him.
First period, 12:50, 2-2: Wow. And we're tied again, as Patrick Cullity notches his second goal of the season, taking a feed across the crease from Brian Roloff and tapping it in past Brian Foster, who honestly looked like he had no idea Cullity was hanging out over there on the far post.
First period, 14:54, UNH 2-1: UNH gets off a number of shots before Matt Campanale buries a low feed past Rob Madore.
That's three goals in the first four and a half minutes, and both squads are 1-for-1 on the power play.
First period, 17:09, 1-1: UVM gets an early power-play opportunity and quickly capitalizes. Dalton Speelman is in the box for interference, and coming off a faceoff, Brayden Irwin fires one in from the high slot.
That certainly helps.
Coming off the goal, UNH gets a power play of its own.
First period, 16:56, UNH 1-0: For those of you who haven't heard, Vermont dismissed junior forward Justin Milo from the team on Tuesday. Head coach Kevin Sneddon would only say that it was in the best interest of the team to dismiss him, but Milo himself said he was told he was dismissed for "inconsistent effort and play and a lack of commitment to the team."
Whatever the reason, it's another tumultuous turn for UVM.
First period, 19:49, UNH 1-0: We're underway at the Whittemore Center, and UVM is already playing from behind.
Twenty-seven seconds into the action, Phil DeSimone corrals a rebound in the right circle and shoots it past Rob Madore for his ninth goal of the season.
Certainly not the way UVM wanted to start off against the league's best team.
6:07 p.m.: New Hampshire will aim to lock down the top spot in Hockey East with a win over Vermont on Friday evening in the first game of a two-game set. The Wildcats, at 13-5-3 in league play, have three points on second-place Boston College and could widen the gap with a victory against the Catamounts.
Vermont, on the other hand, sits at eighth in the league standings, and at 7-9-5, it needs to start digging into its 10-point deficit with exactly one month remaining before the Hockey East tournament begins.
Since their four-game win streak ended at the hands of Merrimack on Jan. 29, the Wildcats have been up and down, winning just two of their last four games. They're coming off a 5-2 defeat of Providence last Friday. The Catamounts haven't won in regulation since Feb. 5 at Providence.
The last time these two teams faced off, New Hampshire earned a 5-2 win at Vermont behind goals from five different scorers. We'll see if the Wildcats can repeat that effort on Friday.
Puck drops just after 7:30 p.m.