BURLINGTON, Vt. - Joe Wilson's goal with 35 seconds remaining in the second period proved to be the game-winner to lead 15th-ranked Colgate past Vermont 4-1 as the former ECAC rivals met at Gutterson Fieldhouse on Friday night in non-conference play. The Catamounts fall to 2-8-1 (1-6-1 HEA) with the loss, while the Raiders won their third straight and improve to 9-4-1 (4-2-0 ECAC).
"I think the story of the game is that Colgate was very opportunistic and took advantage of scoring opportunities that they had and we unfortunately didn't," said head coach Kevin Sneddon. "For two periods we were an outstanding hockey club that created a lot of scoring opportunities, we had way too many chances to only have scored one goal. That to me was disappointing because I think our guys deserved a lot better, they worked extremely hard."
Vermont opened the scoring at 11:26 of the first period just seconds after H.T. Lenz and John Lidgett finished serving matching minor penalties. Nick Luukko found Connor Brickley wide open at the top of the crease and he buried a low wrist shot in the right corner for his team-high fifth of the year. Brett Bruneteau picked up the second assist for Brickley, whose last three goals have given the Catamounts a 1-0 lead in the opening frame.
UVM took the one-goal advantage into the first intermission after outshooting Colgate 15-12 in the first twenty minutes. The Raiders would answer with a shorthanded tally early in the second period as Austin Mayer was called for hooking within the first minute. Austin Smith picked up a loose puck in his own zone and led a stretch pass down the middle of the rink for Chris Wagner. The sophomore skated in alone on goal, deked to his left, and chipped the puck past Rob Madore's right pad to make it 1-1.
After grabbing the equalizer early in the middle frame, the Raiders took their first lead of the evening with less than a minute left in the second. Joe Wilson skated toward the bottom of Vermont's left faceoff circle and fired a quick shot over Madore's left shoulder and off the post to make it a 2-1 game. Wagner and Kevin McNamara were credited with the assists on Wilson's third goal of the season. The Catamounts outshot the Raiders 13-5 in the second but entered the final stanza down a goal.
At 6:06 of the third period, Colgate added an insurance tally courtesy of Matt Firman. The senior took a rinkwide saucer feed from Nathan Sinz along the right wing boards and came in on a partial breakaway from the right point. Firman rifled a wrister from the top of the right circle to beat Madore high to the glove side. Firman added a second goal toward the end of the night on an odd-man rush, poking home a centering pass from Nick Prockow with 1:26 remaining to seal the victory for the Raiders.
Vermont returns to action on Sunday (Nov. 27) as it continues a five-game homestand by hosting Dartmouth (4-4-1, 3-3-1 ECAC) at 4 p.m. The Big Green tied visiting Harvard 3-3 on Friday night at Thompson Arena. Alastair Ingram and Derek Wagar '05 call the action on WVMT 620-AM and on the Internet at SportsJuice.com beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Live video of the game is also available for free at UVMathletics.com via CatamounTV.
NOTES: Friday night marked just the third meeting between Vermont and Colgate since the Catamounts moved to Hockey East in 2005 ... UVM had won the previous two meetings by a combined score of 12-4 ... Vermont has killed off seven straight on the penalty kill and hasn't allowed a power play goal in its last three games ... With 15 shots in the first period, the Catamounts have notched at least 14 shots in a single frame seven times in as many games ... They have posted at least 30 shots in five of their last seven contests ... Rob Madore is now only 44 saves behind Joe Fallon '08 for second place on the all-time saves list in program history.