The long holiday weekend saw Brattleboro Hockey Association teams hitting the ice at all levels. Brattleboro Mites (8U) scrimmaged with the BHA’s ancient foe, the Pleasant Valley Association. This Vermont Amateur Hockey Association rivalry was renewed on Sunday afternoon at the Nelson Withington Arena in Brattleboro’s Living Memorial Park. Goaltender Alex Fortier led the Mite Hawks, notching shut out in goal. Goal scorers for the Mites in this cross-ice hockey contest included Ethan Ahnert, Damian Bliss, Jordan Denny, Senji Kimura, Carson Mialowski, and Colby Robinson.
Elsewhere on Sunday the BHA Bantams played their fifth road game of the season against the high powered Holy Name Stars at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, Massachusetts. After a slow start to the game the Hawks found themselves down 2-0 after one period. In the second period the Hawks kicked it in to gear and played their best two periods of the young season. Brett Parsons led the charge using his great speed and tenacity to score two goals for the Hawks with assists on the first goal from Cam Hebert and Owen Perry on the second. The Stars regained the lead late in the second period, but the Hawks kept playing hard and tied it up late in the third when Jack Pattison collected a puck in the neutral zone and cruised past the Stars defenseman before hitting a hard charging Will Taggard on the far post for a slam dunk. The 3-3 final was a great result for the Hawks against a strong opponent.
On Saturday, The Brattleboro U14 Girls team also ventured south of the boarder, taking on the select Western Massachusetts Blizzard. Select teams are comprised of players from a large geographical area, who made it through a competitive tryout process. The U14 Hawks held their own against this stronger team, but could not match their experience and skill. Game highlights for the BHA side included a beautiful Juliana Miskovich goal, assisted by her linemates, Willow Romo and Rosie Carignan and goaltender Angela Jobin’s many fantastic saves in net. Abbey Squiers was a solid presence on the defensive end of the ice and Grace Szpila gained special mention, taking first penalty of her career to prevent a goal at the final buzzer and protecting her goalie on the play.
Brattleboro Girls had better results on Sunday as their combined U12/U14 team journeyed to Manchester, Vermont to take on the Northshire Bulldogs U14 girls team. Brattleboro was up victorious in this contest, 3-1. The goals came from Juliana Miskovich, Katie Inman, and Rosie Carignan. Inman’s goal was the highlight of the game as she broke the puck out of the defensive zone and drove through the neutral zone while fending off two opposing players. When Inman entered the offensive zone, she was met by a Northshire defender, whom she battled, maintaining control of the puck, before taking a slap shot from the face-off dot and beating the goalie on the far post. Inman and the Hawks offense provided sustained pressure on the Northshire team, which could not respond. Next stop for the U12 girls is a tournament in Woodstock, Vermont next weekend. Coach McLarney reminds everyone that the Brattleboro Girls team always welcomes additional teammates. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Brattleboro Squirt White Hawks played a pair of games against the Amherst Hockey Association two entries in the GSL Squirt North Division in a weekend of home-on-home hockey action. On Saturday, White Hawks took on the Amherst Red team at the Nelson Withington Rink. Perched on top of the standings, this Amherst squad came out strong in the first period and put up a fast 1-0 lead on their way to a 6-4 victory. The teams played a back and forth second period that featured strong goaltending. The Hawks made the game interesting, putting three third period strikes on the board. Andy Cay potted two, assisted both times by Evan Wright. Wright finished the day’s scoring, with a fine top shelf goal. According to one observer, the Hawks needed to improve their back checking, despite some otherwise strong play and good passing.
On Sunday, the White Hawks avenged Saturday’s loss, traveling to the Mullins Center on the Campus of the University of Massachusetts to take on the Amherst White. The Hawks started with a bang off the opening faceoff in the first period as Gabe “The Rocket” Alexander made a beautiful pass to wing, Evan Wright who put the biscuit in the basket. With the teams tied at one after one period, the Hawks’ offense ignited in the second, led by a strong backchecking effort by forward, Carter Mialkowski. Evan Wright and Andy Cay created a scoring storm, on their way to netting four goals apiece. Blue Hawks Coach Andrew Dick made adjustments in the third period, moving Wright to defense and bringing Evan “The Rush” Ahnert to the wing position. The switch payed dividends. Playing the backline, Wright recorded his final tally of the game, launching a stinger from the blue line before Ahnert closed out the game’s scoring for the Hawks. Brattleboro went on to take the game 9-1.
The Brattleboro Squirt Blue Hawks also played two games over the Veteran’s Day weekend. On Saturday the Blue Hawks were dropped by the Springfield (Mass) Capitals 11-4 at the Romeo J. Cyr Arena in Forest Park. Brattleboro opened with a strong in the first period. Cohen Bassler opened the game’s first goal early in the first. Kaleb Betit scored on a shot from the neutral zone and kept the Hawks momentum going. Nico Conathan-Leach registered a goal break away, keeping his composure as dodged defenders. Bassler scored his second of the game, late with Talia Engel collecting the assist. Goalie Zain Lent was strong between the pipes, making many saves and keeping the Capitals’ high powered offense in check.
On Sunday the Squirt Blue Hawks came out fired up on their home ice, taking the Westfield Bombers. The teams played to a scoreless tie in the first period. Early into the second period Coen Bassler was able to convert on a breakaway and score first goal of the game. The Bombers came back with two second period tallies to take the lead and before posting two more tallies on the board in the third on their way to a 4-1. Blue Hawks Squirts played hard, putting many shots on goal, and keeping the pressure on till the final buzzer sounded.
In Pre-season High School (U18) action, the Brattleboro Hawks completed their season and a first-place finish for 2017. After traveling to the Olympia on Friday night and dropping 7-1 decision to the Holy Name Stars with a short roster, the Hawks came home on Sunday and finished on a high note, waxing the Ludlow Lions 7-0. Brattleboro’s offensive attack showed balance, as three lines registering on the score sheet. The Hawks moved the puck well on in front of goaltender Austin Wood, who recorded his third shutout of the season. Kamron Pelkey and Connor Murphy potted two goals apiece to close out their GSL careers. Eric Chase also found the back of the net twice and Mason Foard punched one home for the Hawks. Ernesto Antonucci and Gabe Heiden recorded three assists each as the Hawks cruised to their eleventh win of the season and claimed the BHA’s first GSL Midget title.
by: Derek Bliss