Story by Ben Kaufmann
Photos by Liz Snider and Gregory J. Lamoureux
HIGHGATE: Missisquoi exploded for five goals in the second period to take a second straight win in the form of a 6-3 victory over St. Johnsbury. Hunter Mason notched a hat trick and an assist in the effort for MVU.
The Thunderbirds (6-3-1) trailed the Hilltoppers (6-6) briefly in the first period but Jake Benjamin scored just 15-seconds into a power-play earned when St. Johnsbury took a five-minute major with 1:26 left in the first period. Kyle Gilbert and Mason assisted that goal, which kept the game tied at 1-1 after the first.
Just over three minutes into the second and back to five-on-five, Owen Kane put MVU up 2-1 on assists from Benjamin and Corbin Schreindorfer. A little more than two minutes later, Cadden LaPlant set up a Mason goal to make it a 3-1 game.
Once again on the power-play with just shy of six minutes to go in the second, Mason converted an assist from Benjamin to give MVU a 4-1 lead. Jackson Porter scored off a Gilbert assist three minutes later to put his Thunderbirds up 5-1 with 2:19 still to play in the second.
St. Johnsbury added another score to close the gap to 5-2 but Mason scored once more with 55-seconds to go in the period on a Porter assist to give MVU a commanding, 6-2 lead going into the third.
For the second straight game, Missisquoi utilized two goaltenders and received fine performances from both. PJ Bouchard stopped 11 shots over the first two periods and Garrett Fregeau turned away nine in the third period.
Final scorelines for MVU on Wednesday included three goals and an assist for Mason, a goal and two assists for Benjamin, a goal and an assist for Porter, two assists for Gilbert, a goal for Kane and single assists each for Schreindorfer and LaPlant.
A late Hilltopper goal in the third wasn’t the only lowlight of the final frame of Wednesday’s win for MVU. For the second time in three games, a key Missisquoi player was ejected with a game-misconduct.
*Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story reported that the ejection would leave Missisquoi shorthanded for their next game. That was incorrect.