Men’s Hockey Sweeps Clarkson and St. Lawrence at Home

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The Vermont Men’s Hockey Team had it’s first ECAC weekend sweep at the Gutt since November 17th and 18th, 2000, when Princeton and Yale both left Vermont disappointed.

The Cats took on Clarkson on Friday night and St. lawrence on Saturday night and came out victorious as they continue to battle for a bid for home ice in the first round of the ECAC playoffs.

Friday night’s game was an exciting one to say the least. Vermont’s first goal came from freshman standout defenseman Jaime Sifers about eight minutes into the first period on the power play.

After skillfully working the puck around the zone, Sifers took a slap shot from the point that trickled in after deflecting off of a Clarkson defender.

The goal was Sifers’ second of the season, both of those goals coming during power plays. A little more than two minutes later, Clarkson’s Jay LaTulippe beat Vermont goalie Shawn Conschafter with a nice one-timer after a feed from Kevin O’Flaherty.

The Cats were able to recapture the one-goal lead only three minutes later when Vermont sophomore Scott Mifsud fed a breakaway pass from his knees to freshman Jeff Corey who skated the puck in and put it between the legs of Clarkson freshman netminder Dustin Traylen.

Vermont regained the lead only 3:10 into the second period when Catamount captain Thomas Hajek got his third of the season after a great pass from senior assistant captain Ryan Miller out of the corner and excellent work by junior Jeff Miles.

Clarkson then made it 3-2 with about 14 minutes left with a weak wrister from senior Jean Desrochers in the slot that barely beat Conschafter.

Vermont scored two more goals in the period, one coming from John Longo, who banged home the rebound after Miles took a shot that bounced off the leg pads of Traylen.

Vermont’s fifth goal on the night came from sophomore Brady Leisenring, who has had an outstanding season with ten goals and 13 assists.

Clarkson then scored a shorthanded goal in the third to make it 5-3 with 13 minutes left. Miles answered right back with his third point of the night, putting one past Clakson’s Mike Walsh, who came in to tend goal for the third period.

Conschafter had 23 saves on the night and came up with quite a few huge saves to help Vermont keep the lead over Clarkson. Commenting on the great goal-scoring for Vermont Conschafter said, “It’s good to get some goal support and when they come, they come in bunches.”

Conschafter came up big on Saturday night as well when the Cats took on St. Lawrence.

The game was definitely a battle of the goaltenders, with Clarkson keeper Kevin Ackley making 17 saves in the second period alone, with 34 for the night. Ackley really kept the game close for St. Lawrence, stopping a lot of amazing efforts by the Cats.

Conschafter blanked the Golden Knights in the second and third periods and had 18 saves, 10 of those coming in the third period.

The only goal that Clarkson had came 12 seconds into a power play in the first period only 37 seconds after Vermont’s John Longo beat Ackley from the top of the crease, converting a great pass from Miles.

The Clarkson goal was a weak shot from freshman John Zeiler from the slot that got deflected in off of the defense and barely beat Conschafter in the bottom corner of the net.

The game winning goal was scored by sophomore Tim Plant with only 6:24 left in the third period. Brady Leisenring took a nice shot from the outside that Ackley put right back out to the top of the crease and Plant was able to bang home the rebound, his third game-winner of the year. After the game, Plant commented on the goal, giving much credit to Leisenring; “Brady made a great play, putting a hard shot in from the outside, I was just in the right place at the right time.”

The goal that made the final margin came with only ten seconds left in the game when Scott Mifsud, who had a great weekend, put the puck in the empty Clarkson net from his knees from inside the Vermont zone.

“I thought we played six real good periods of hockey.” Said vermont coach Mike Gilligan. “In the end, they (St. Lawrence) made a good charge. I thought we had the edge in play most of the game”

The Cats take on Brown and Harvard this weekend on Friday and Saturday night at the Gutt.