BURLINGTON, Vt. — Jordan Webb scored on a two-on-one with Nathan Gillies to complete a three-goal comeback over the final two periods in a 4-2 Union victory over Vermont Saturday at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Having defeated the Big Green 3-0 Friday, Union also completed its first road sweep of the season and the first-ever of Dartmouth and Vermont on the road.
Vermont carried what momentum it gathered Friday, a 5-3 win against Rensselaer, into the first period. Just as on Friday, it took a power play to get the offense in gear. Consecutive penalties gave Vermont the five-on-three advantage.
With one second remaining on the first infraction Scott Mifsud had the puck at the top of the left circle. Jeff Miles got it in the corner and attempted a pass across the slot. It deflected off a skate and found the back of the net, past Union goaltender Kris Mayotte. The goal, Miles’ team-leading 14th on the season, was also assisted by Thomas Hajek at 15:47.
The best chance of the period for the Dutchmen came with less than two minutes remaining. Senior Kris Goodjohn spilt the Catamount defense and skated in on goaltender Shawn Conschafter. Goodjohn was pulled to the ice as the shot went wide.
Vermont held a 7-4 advantage in shots after the first period.
In the second period the ice seemed to be tilted in the direction of the Dutchmen. As a result of numerous power plays, a tremendous Union forecheck, and Vermont’s inability to clear the puck out of its zone, Conschafter was forced to be stellar. He made eight saves, many of them spectacular, keeping the visitors off the board for much of the period.
Vermont added to its lead on the power play, though, midway through. With the Cats set up in the offensive zone, sophomore Brady Leisenring walked out of the corner unmarked and fired a wrister that beat Mayotte five-hole. Jeff Corey and Gerard Miller assisted on Leisenring’s eighth of the year.
Union finally broke through the stalwart Conschafter on the power play. Gillies got a pass from Webb and blistered a one-timer low to the stick side past the senior netminder.
Playing with confidence, Union got the equalizer early in the third when Brian Kerr scored from an impossible angle as he squeezed the puck between the post and Conschafter’s glove. The goal was a result of a blocked shot by the defense which rebounded onto the stick of Kerr.
Less than eight minutes later, Webb tallied the game winner.
Vermont would get opportunities to tie the game but could not score. Scott Seney put the game away with an empty-net goal with a little over one minute remaining.
Said Vermont coach Mike Gilligan, “The third period we played well; they capitalized on two our big mistakes.”
Miles summed it up. “We have to play the third period the same way we play the first two. We were up 2-1 going into the third, there’s no reason to change anything — it’s a habit we have and a habit we have to change.”
Conschafter recorded 15 saves and Mayotte stopped 23 for the win.
The Gut has historically been a tough place to play for many teams, including the Dutchmen. With the win, the visitors from the Capital District improve their record in Burlington to 2-10-0
Union head coach Kevin Sneddon was pleased with his team’s performance on the road.
“It’s a great trip for us,” he said. “To come into this building, with this environment, is fun for us but it’s tough on the guys. They play great in this building so it’s a great four points for a young Union team.”
Both teams hit the road next weekend, Union at Cornell and Colgate, Vermont at Yale and Princeton.