BURLINGTON, Vt. — Junior Jeff Miles led the Vermont scoring attack with two goals and goaltender Shawn Conschafter was sharp, stopping 28 of 29 shots in the Catamounts’ 3-1 victory over Colgate at Gutterson Fieldhouse Saturday.
The Catamounts were looking to bounce back from an 8-0 drubbing at the hands of the nationally ranked Cornell Big Red. The win snapped a three-game losing streak and gave the team its first win in ECAC play.
“We had a very solid first 20 minutes and then after that I thought Colgate did a great job getting back in the game, and was threatening all the way to the very end,” said Vermont head coach Mike Gilligan.
Vermont (3-5-2, 1-3-0 ECAC), which controlled the play for much of the first period, opened the scoring at 8:54 with a power-play goal from Spencer Morton, a freshman walk-on from nearby Stowe, Vt. Senior assistant captain Ryan Miller received a pass from defenseman Phil Youngclaus and fed Morton driving to the net. He beat Colgate netminder David Cann (15 saves) on the backhand. The goal was Morton’s first of his career, which is only four games old.
Gilligan was pleased with Morton. “Spencer was fabulous. He made some big, big plays. He made a real beautiful move. That was a real mature move going to the net like that. He’s a good athlete. I think he’s done some real nice things the last couple of games.”
Vermont added to the lead when ECAC leading scorer Miles tallied his first of two on the night. John Longo gave the puck to Miles, who ripped a shot past Cann for a shorthanded goal, Miles’ eighth of the year. The goal was the culmination of a swarming penalty kill by the home team.
In the second period, it was the Raiders’ turn to control play, as Colgate took it to the Cats with a 11-3 shot advantage. Conschafter was equal to the task, making several flashy saves, including one with the glove when his team was on the power play.
“I was really happy with Shawn tonight,” Gilligan said “That’s two great games,” he added, refering to Conschafter’s 42 saves in the 1-1 tie at Boston University.
It wasn’t unti l 11:58 of the third period, that Colgate solved the stalwart Vermont backstop. Raider Kyle Doyle put a rebound off the stick of J.R. Bria past Conschafter for the power-play goal and a 2-1 score.
That was as close as Colgate would get. Miles scored his ninth goal of the season into an empty net for the final margin.
Vermont gained a well-deserved split on the weekend series, while Colgate (4-6-1, 1-3-0 ECAC) dropped both contests on the road. Next week Colgate will be back home for two against Brown and Harvard while Vermont faces Princeton on Friday and Yale on Saturday.