While Colorado College fans enjoyed the fruits of Alex Leclerc’s multiple highlight-reel saves Friday night, the goaltender himself immediately shed his pads and charged down the hallway to watch film of the one that got away late.
The goal didn’t matter as far as the result, but it mattered to him.
“There’s small details that you want to fix right away,” Leclerc explained. “There’s another perspective from the camera angle.”
From all angles, the Tigers kept rolling, playing with confidence in a 5-2 win over Vermont at The Broadmoor World Arena. CC scored three unanswered goals in the second and third periods and held off an empty-net comeback bid.
Trey Bradley gave the Tigers a two-goal cushion with the eventual game-winner 1:20 into the third period. Nick Halloran threaded a pass through the legs of a Catamounts defender and Bradley got two chances on the doorstep.
“Really proud of the way they played tonight,” coach Mike Haviland said of the team.
The Tigers (7-6-2, 2-5-1 National Collegiate Hockey Conference) jumped on the Catamounts early and pelted Stefanos Lekkas with shots, taking a 14-7 advantage by the first-period break. But Vermont scored the only goal of the frame when a shot bounced off a shinguard and right to Matt Alvaro.
All the sustained pressure of the first period didn’t produce a goal, but the Tigers found a better result off the rush. Christiano Versich hit Troy Conzo 3:45 into the second period and the sophomore scored his second of the season.
Each goaltender had a big moment in the second period, with Leclerc making a butterfly save to stop a 2-on-1 and then spinning to block a second chance, and Vermont’s Stefanos Lekkas watching the whole way as three left-behind Tigers tried to make a tricky passing play.
Westin Michaud gave CC a 2-1 lead when he took a feed from Alex Pernitsky at the blue line and came in alone, sniping a shot right below the crossbar.
The penalty kill never saw the ice, as the Tigers avoided taking a penalty for the first time since Dec. 14, 2013.
Down in the crease in the third, Leclerc stretched out as Alvaro circled the cage. Alvaro thought he found daylight, but met Leclerc’s glove.
That one wasn’t queued up after the game.
“When things are going well, you move on,” Leclerc (22 saves) said.
“As a group tonight, we played really well.”
With Lekkas (36 saves) pulled, trailing Conor O’Neil beat Leclerc through traffic to get the Catamounts within one. The stress in the building was short-lived, as Vermont went with the extra attacker again and Trevor Gooch scored his third in two games into an empty net.
Grant Cruikshank came in alone and put a shootout move on Lekkas for the final score.
The Tigers will go for their first sweep since October 2017 on Saturday night.