HOUGHTON, Mich. — Chris Conner, Taggart Desmet, and Colin Murphy combined for four goals and 10 scoring points in Michigan Tech’s 7-3 non-conference victory over Vermont.
Conner, the nation’s scoring leader, finished a scorching month of October with his 10th and 11th goals of the season to stake Michigan Tech to a 2-0 lead after one period of play. The Westland, Mich., native made a nifty move on the first goal and beat goaltender Travis Russell between the legs from out in front at 7:25. Murphy and Desmet drew assists on the play. Then at 13:03, Conner buried one from Russell’s left on the power play, converting a nice passing play between him, Desmet, and senior Brett Engelhardt.
Michigan Tech took a 4-0 lead early in the second period on goals by senior Frank Werner at 1:17 and Murphy at 5:32. A Vermont power-play marker off the stick of Scott Mifsud at 7:06 got the Catamounts on the board, but Michigan Tech held a 4-1 lead after two periods.
The visitors proceeded to get within 4-3 on goals 45 seconds apart from Tim Plant on the power play at 6:01 and then Jeff Corey even strength at 6:46.
But off the faceoff following the Corey goal, Vermont’s Chris Smart was called for spearing as he “sticked” Michigan Tech’s Brett Engelhardt between the legs. MTU capitalized twice on the five-minute advantage with Desmet and sophomore Brandon Schwartz scoring at 8:07 and 8:37 to get MTU back to a comfortable 6-3 lead. Senior Jon Pittis finished the scoring as he converted on a wrap around after a misplay of the puck by goaltender Russell .
“It was nice to get the win,” said Michigan Tech coach Jamie Russell, “but I was not happy with the lazy play in the third period. We just can’t afford those lapses.”
Freshman goaltender Bryce Luker picked up his first collegiate win with 17 saves. He allowed just one even strength goal. Russell played the first 54:23 and had 30 saves, while Scott Sortal played the final 5:37 and made four saves.