HAMILTON, N.Y. - 18th-ranked Vermont came back from two different one-goal deficits but dropped a 3-2 decision at Colgate on Saturday night in non-league action at Starr Rink. The Catamounts snapped a five-game unbeaten streak and fell to 11-7-3 (4-5-0 HEA), suffering their first loss since Dec. 17. The Raiders won their third straight and improved to 9-9-3 (5-3-1 ECAC).
Colgate opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game on the power play. Ryan Johnston's shot from the right point deflected into the left faceoff circle for Darcy Murphy, and the Raiders' leading goal scorer quickly fired it home at the 2:47 mark.
UVM answered five minutes later through its top line as Chris McCarthy worked the puck to Brendan Bradley in the right corner. Bradley curled to the half wall and backhanded a pass to the slot for Mario Puskarich, who went top shelf under the bar to beat Charlie Finn blocker side. The rookie tied the team-lead with his eighth tally of the year.
Vermont killed off Colgate's second power play of the period and nearly took the lead shorthanded, but Jake Fallon was denied at the left post on a clean breakaway. With 5:05 remaining in the opening frame, Tylor Spink located a loose puck between the circles and wristed a shot inside the left post to put the Raiders back on top 2-1.
Neither team found the scoreboard in the second period as UVM killed off two more Raider man advantages. McCarthy had a clean look at goal after picking the pocket of a Colgate defenseman but just missed the net outside the left post from close range. Mike Santaguida was perfect between the pipes during the frame with six saves.
The Catamounts carried their first power play of the night into the third period and knotted the score just 57 seconds in. Santaguida sent a long stretch pass down the left wing in stride for McCarthy, who skated down the left side of the Colgate zone. The senior floated a backhand pass into the slot and Colin Markison buried a one-timer high glove side on Finn for his fourth of the year.
The Raiders went back on the power play at 5:29 of the third and netted the eventual game-winner on a quick centering pass from below the goal line. Tylor Spink whipped a feed inside the right faceoff dot for his brother Tyson Spink, and he directed a one-timer inside the left post for a 3-2 Colgate lead. UVM pulled Santaguida with just under a minute left but couldn't find the equaliser.
The Catamounts continue an eight-game road trip next weekend against the 16th-ranked Northeastern Huskies in a two-game series at Matthews Arena. The first game on Friday (Jan. 17) at 7 p.m. will be a Hockey East contest, while the matchup on Saturday (Jan. 18) is a non-league game at 7 p.m. Radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. each night on WVMT 620-AM and SportsJuice.com with Alastair Ingram on the call.