Tim Plant scored the winning goal on the power play to give Vermont a 3-1 win over St. Lawrence Saturday at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Brady Leisenring made the play that sealed the victory for the Cats. Leisenring, whose line played with jump all weekend, started the play with an end-to-end rush, coming down the left boards and cutting in front of the net. His initial shot was stopped, but Plant banged the rebound home. Gerard Miller also assisted on the goal.
With the win, the Catamounts swept a weekend series for the first time since Vermont beat Miami and Dartmouth on successive nights to capture the 2000-2001 Auld Lang Syne Tournament at Dartmouth.
“I thought we played six real good periods of hockey,” said Vermont coach Mike Gilligan. “In the end, they made a good charge. I thought we had the edge in play most of the game.”
Vermont scored its only goal of the first period just as a power play expired. Jeff Miles blistered a pass across the goalmouth down low. John Longo, parked in front of the net, put the puck past Saints goaltender Kevin Ackley for the lead at 16:47 of the first. Ryan Miller recorded the second assist.
St. Lawrence came back at 17:22 on the power play. A shot from the left point by Ryan Glenn was tipped nicely by John Zeiler past Shawn Conschafter, who was out of position. Jeremy Cormier also assisted on Zeiler’s eighth goal of the year.
Both goaltenders played a solid first period. Conschafter made a great save on Tony Maci midway through the period, and Ackley made one of his own on Leisenring with four minutes remaining.
Vermont came out flying in the second period, spending a majority of the time in the attacking zone. Ackley stood on his head all period making seventeen saves in the frame — many of which were outstanding.
Senior defenseman Thomas Hajek had a chance with 13 minutes remaining when he deflected a shot from the point, but Ackley was in great position. The Saints could only muster a single shot in the period.
“In the second period, we did all we had to do to put a few pucks in the net,” Gilligan said. “I knew it was going to go down to the wire.”
Conschafter made 10 saves in a third period that was dominated by St. Lawrence both before and after Plant’s game winner.
Two saves were spectacular, the first on Zeiler with six minutes remaining, then, with 15 seconds left in regulation on a shot by Rich Peverly that led to an empty-net goal by Scott Mifsud.
Conschafter finished with 18 saves, while Ackley played his angles well in turning 34 shots away.
“It was a good game,” St. Lawrence head coach Joe Marsh said. “I was proud of our team. We hung around — particularly in the third period.
“They are a good team. They play exciting hockey. They play the way it ought to be played.”
Plant said, “To bounce back like this shows a lot of character, and I think we’re coming together as a team.”
St. Lawrence hosts Yale and Princeton next weekend, and Vermont stays home, as Brown and Harvard come to Burlington.