By DONNA FLANDERS
St. Albans Messenger Sports
MILTON — Nolan Deep’s crucial saves and a couple of Missisquoi shots off the frame helped keep the visiting Thunderbirds and Milton Yellowjackets even on the scoreboard at Phil Hughes Memorial Field on Thursday night.
“Diving saves, goal posts, crossbars,” MVU coach Jim Hubbard said. “What a game. I am pleased.”
Ryan Raleigh, Gavin Hubbard, and Mitchell Bourdeau — who hit the right post, for the second time in a week, midway through the first half, then banged one off the bar with 1:52 left in regulation — scored the T-Bird (2-1-2) goals. Nick Desouza, Simon Davis, and Kyle Brown hit the net for the Jackets (0-2-2).
Five games into the season the Thunderbirds — coming off a winless 2017 — already are one win or tie away from clinching their best record since 2012.
Milton’s 2017 included a runner-up finish in Division II and a large number of seniors. Coach Glen Button was pleased with his Yellowjackets’ persistence. Kyler Kelley hit the post on a corner kick, narrowly missing an equalizer, but 90 seconds later — with 33:25 to play — the Yellowjackets did tie it when a direct kick bounced loose and Davis knocked it in.
Just 20 seconds later, though, Bourdeau dribbled through three defenders and drove a left-footed shot past the once-again-diving Deep, putting the Thunderbirds up 3-2.
Milton came back one more time, when Brown drilled one home with 12:56 remaining for a 3-3 deadlock.
In the first overtime, Yellowjacket Cameron Fougere hit the post off a corner kick in the third minute, and Desouza had a point-blank shot that Walker came out to block. For Missisquoi, with 1:52 remaining Bourdeau hit his second frame of the day, sending a shot off the crossbar.
The second extra period gave MVU several chances, the best when Hubbard hit the crossbar and the ball caromed straight down inches from the goal line before Milton cleared it out of harm’s way.
“I was proud of the way the guys fought back after falling down early in this match,” Button said. “I love the grit and the battle that they had tonight. We were missing our starting center back and starting forward due to injury, just as MVU was missing their keeper.
“I thought Cam Fougere did a heck of a job on Bourdeau. After he got that third goal we marked him a little tighter and I thought Cam did a nice job on him. He is just a freshman out there battling a big, tough senior, and I thought he did a real nice job.”
Deep and Walker each had six saves in goal.
Photos below from MHS vs. Colchester – Tuesday, Sep. 11
Kyle St. Peter for CVNG