Essex ties Colchester, 2-2 (Feb. 1, 2023)

Burlington VT – A large crowd of hockey fans, including lots of students from each high school, were treated to a great Vermont D1 matchup at Leddy Rink in Burlington tonight. Neutral zone was on hand to watch this exciting game that couldn’t be decided even with a 5 minute overtime period. 

In the first period, both teams started out cautiously with close checking and tight play.  The balanced back and forth action led to some shots on goal but no real good scoring chances early in the period.  Things opened up a bit after Colchester took a penalty and Essex’s power play was able to get a couple good scoring bids.Shortly after the PP, Essex senior forward Andrew Forcier (#2) found the back of the net after a nice pass from another senior forward Gavin Blondin (#7).  Late in the period, Colchester had their chance to score on a power play but rang a shot off the goal post after a face off win. The period ended with Essex up 1-0.

Essex got their second goal early in the second period on a mishandled puck by a Colchester d-man in front of goalie Kieran Phillips (#34) that resulted in a shot by Forcier with the rebound going to Blondin who buried it into the open net. Essex then took two minor penalties but Colchester could not get the puck past Essex goalie Ian  Boutin (#33). They did come close to scoring by hitting the goal post for the second time tonight.  Later in the period, Colchester scored on a power play goal from junior defenseman Ben Sherman (#14) assisted by junior forward Brody Rassel (#9) after Essex took a 5 minute major penalty for hitting from behind. The period ended with Essex up 2-1. 

In the third period, play was balanced and characterized by tight checking and some physical play. About midway through the period Colchester tied the game on a goal by Rassel with assist going to Drew Hawk (#15) and Evan Baird (#16).  Each team took a penalty before the period ended but neither could score as both goalies came up with some big saves sending the game into overtime.

In the 5 minute overtime, both teams exchanged good scoring chances but their goaltenders hung tough with key saves to keep the game a 2-2 final. 

1st Star: Gavin Blondin (#7) Essex

2nd Star: Brody Rassel (#9) Colchester
3rd Star: Andrew Forcier (#2) Essex