The Mitton Miracle

Matt Mugno

In the cathedral of American Hockey, two warring collegiate programs exited their lockers for a fifth period of hockey. What the arena did not see coming, The Mitton Miracle.

Herb Brooks Arena has a spirit, the ghosts wishing the walls could talk. A marathon of a semi-final ended just about how any instant classic does, by surprise and shock. In retrospect, “miraculous.”

Many of these players watched the Disney film “Miracle” as if they saw the game on Feb. 22, 1980. One of the players would tie on the cape and play the hero. 

Colgate forward Ross Mitton dazzled all night. Not a check after the play nor a complaint to an official. Mitton danced and threatened the Bobcats all night, the “Energizer Bunny” was dazzling on one of the most historic ice surfaces in the history of the game. 

Three and a half hours of deadlock hockey mounted tremendous pressure. The clammy angst on the ice was palpable. 

Out of thin air, a one-timer from the side of the rink slammed off the end boards. As Quinnipiac goalie Yaniv Perets slid off his post, an unassuming Mitton retrieved the puck, took a whack and a second jam found the back of the net. 

In mere seconds, No. 17 turned his performance from a “good game” to a moment etched in ECAC Tournament history. “The Mitton Miracle” capped off by a juiced-up dab celly. 

Mitton was speechless twenty minutes after the golden goal.

“It was a back-and-forth game,” Mitton said. “Our process, our system, was to get shots on this goalie we know he hadn’t seen a lot of shots this year, picked up a shot from the slot, and got to the front to finish it, “then with a child-like giddiness,” I’m still in shock right now I honestly can’t believe it.” 

Colgate head coach, Don Vaughan was even keel following the triumph.

“Ross just hopped up the stairs here, he’s got a little more in the tank than I do,” Vaughan said. “We’re really happy, to play for a championship. I couldn’t be more proud of our team, we had a game plan, stuck with it, and battled to the very end. Ross finished it off for us.” 

Ross Mitton has propelled the Colgate Raiders to their first ECAC Championship appearance since 2015 and did so in fashion. They will face the Harvard Crimson Saturday night in the ECAC Championship game. 

The Mitton Miracle. The personification of the tournament dark horse.  A moment that those walls would tell you.