Ian Pelkey, Hunter Goodwin and Brandon Cardinal scored goals and Brandon Rhoades made 23 saves last Saturday in Milton’s 3-2 boys hockey victory over St. Johnsbury.

The Hilltoppers closed the gap to one goal on a score with 1:12 remaining but couldn’t come up with the equalizer.

“This was a much needed win to get us back on the right track,” said Milton coach Trevor Wagar, whose team improved to 5-3. “We faced some adversity with having some players out due to injury. We lost some players in the game because of injury and penalties.

“We had a lot of players step into positions they would not normally play. We looked very green at times, and we were not playing very systematically. We need to work on trusting each other and getting on the same page so that we are not running around in our own zone and all over the ice.

“Brandon Rhoades played well early to give our guys a chance to get going in the game. Jared Amstein had a particularly good game with chipping in with an assist and back-checking and making simple little plays toward the end of the game to solidify the win.

“Brandon Cardinal broke out with a goal and an assist as well,” Wagar said.

Amstein set up Pelkey’s first-period goal that opened the scoring. St. Johnsbury tied it 4:09 into the second on Anton Gulko’s goal, but Goodwin regained the lead for the Yellowjackets with assists from Devon Jackson and Cardinal, scoring with only 31 seconds left in the period.

Cardinal’s unassisted goal made it 3-1 with three minutes to go in the third, and Milton held on for the win despite Brandon Wells’ score at 13:48 for St. J.

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Milton returned to the ice in boys hockey December 28 after a 10-day holiday layoff but couldn’t find its scoring touch, dropping a 1-0 Lake Division contest to Brattleboro at Cairns Arena last Thursday night.

The Yellowjackets racked up a 29-10 edge in shots on goal, but Colonels goaltender Greg DiSilva stopped every chance to earn the shutout win as Brattleboro won for just the second time in six games.

Evan Perkins scored the game’s only goal, assisted by Declan Longergan in the first period.

Brandon Rhoades had nine saves in goal for Milton (4-3).