Essex, VT – Neutral Zone Vermont was in the Essex rink tonight to watch D2 rivals MMU and Stowe faceoff. This game followed the D1 match of Essex and Rice, which was a barn burner seeing Rice blank Essex 3-0. This MMU/Stowe matchup was also exciting and featured lots of physical play, plenty of penalties and one major penalty for a hit to the head that resulted in a game misconduct and ejection of a Stowe skater.
The first period started slow with both teams feeling each other out. Neither team had a Grade A scoring opportunity until senior forward Alex Brown (#13) found the back of the net from freshman Garret Carter (#19) on a MMU power play. A few minutes later Stowe tied the game at 1 apiece when junior forward Derek Baxter (#25) took the puck to the net and scored an unassisted goal. While on a Stowe power play near the end of the period, MMU’s Brown intercepted a pass and broke in all alone on Stowe goalie Liam Newhouse (#1) but missed on a shot that went over the net. The period ended 1-1.
Stowe started the second period on the power play but couldn’t find the back of the net despite a couple good scoring bids by senior forward Woody Reichelt (#8). MMU then began to show their scoring muscle with three unanswered goals from sophomore Caleb Murphy (#2), freshman Garret Carter (#19), and senior Garrett Marchant (#6). Four MMU players got assists on these goals including Aidan Soutiere (#9), Alec Spensley (#8), Sam Molson (#4) and Colby Garrapy (#20). Stowe fought back and was able to get within two goals (4-2) when senior Bo Graves (#17) scored on a nice feed from junior forward Ashton Tibbits. The rest of the period was filled with penalties and special teams play but neither team could score on their power plays.
In the third period, MMU’s Alex Brown scored his second goal of the game when he stole the puck from a Stowe defenseman and broke into the offensive zone to score a beautiful unassisted backhand goal over a sprawling Newhouse. The period saw more spirited play and penalties including some 4 on 4 play but both goalies held off scoring bids to keep the final score 5-2.
1st Star: Alex Brown (#13) Mount Mansfield Union
2nd Star: Garret Carter (#19) Mount Mansfield Union
3rd Star: Woody Reichelt (#8) Stowe