PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Senior J.-F. Caudron’s hat trick led the Vermont Catamounts to a 6-1 defeat of the Brown Bears at Meehan Auditorium Saturday night.
Vermont concluded a strong weekend of play, opening up with two straight wins in ECAC action in its return campaign from last year’s cancelled season.
“[Caudron] has some real offensive flair,” said Vermont head coach Mike Gilligan. “He seems to be picking up where he left off, which is getting the job done for us offensively.”
Caudron opened up the scoring 16:10 into the first on the power play, as a shot from defenseman Ryan Cox was deflected right onto his stick in front of the net. A minute and a half later, the Catamounts made it 2-0 thanks to a John Longo goal from the left circle, enabling Vermont to put Brown in a hole that the Bears would not escape.
Midway through the second Caudron tallied again, this time during a delayed penalty on the Bears. Caudron shot down on a one-on-one and beat Brown junior goaltender Brian Eklund with a bullet to the upper corner.
“Last night I wasn’t putting enough shots on net,” said Caudron. “Tonight I threw everything I could on net, and that opened up a lot of chances for us.”
Brown captain Jon Zielinski countered with a tip-in goal off the point shot of junior defenseman Paul Esdale late in the second, but the Bears could not find the net after that. They had several chances to get within a goal throughout the third, but were stuffed time and time again by the excellent play of Vermont goaltender Andrew Allen.
Allen made 40 saves, which, coupled with his 46 last night at Harvard, made him perhaps the top star for Vermont this weekend. Brown outshot Vermont, 41-19, but failed to capitalize on several chances in alone on Allen.
“Andrew just needs to get a few shots on him early and then you can forget about it,” said Caudron. “He just took care of business this weekend in a major way.”
Late in the third Vermont got three quick goals to put the Bears away as it seemed Brown was just waiting for the clock to expire in an ugly game. Caudron notched his hat trick to make it 4-1, and then freshman Patrick Sharp and Longo (with his second of the game) finished off the Bears as the clock ticked down.
“I thought we played well for most of the game,” said Brown head coach Roger Grillo. “We didn’t capitalize, and they did.”