BURLINGTON — Hunter Mason made the most of a second chance late in the middle period, Braylen Parent scored a huge insurance goal late in the third, and Missisquoi opened the boys hockey season with a 3-0 victory over Colchester.

Parent added two assists to his goal for MVU in the season-opener for both teams.

The Lakers were close everywhere but on the final scoreboard, firing 23 shots on goal to the Thunderbirds’ 28. Colchester’s defense yielded just one score in 43 minutes of action before Parent’s tally and Mason’s empty-netter to finish the scoring.

Colchester’s offense threw all sorts of challenges at goalie P.J. Bouchard and the MVU defense, including a rapid-fire string of chances in the second period, but Bouchard made all 23 saves to open the season with a shutout.

Boosted by a penalty midway through the frame, the Lakers put a solid six minutes worth of pressure on the Thunderbirds without breaking through. Bouchard stopped one rush with 8:20 left, then kicked away Jacob Cormand’s shot across the slot from below the right circle. With five minutes remaining the period Bouchard stuffed a rush through the slot by Chase Carey, a minute later dove back toward the goal to block another low-angle shot from the right, and finally held his ground for a save after Andy Rosato’s determined charge through the slot.

Missisquoi evened up the sides when Braylen Parent was taken down on a rush inside the Laker blue line — just enough from the side to avoid a penalty shot that the T-Birds thought they deserved, and Mason capitalized on the momentum swing.

His first try was denied by CHS goalie Sam Fath (25 saves), but 30 seconds later Mason again got the puck in front of the right post — thanks to Parent and Charlie Gates — and this time lifted a shot into the near side for what would be the decisive goal.

Parent made it 2-0 on an unassisted goal with two minutes remaining in the game, then joined Kyle Gilbert in assisting on Mason’s empty-net goal.

Photos by Josh Kaufmann, CVNG

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