BRATTLEBORO -- The Brattleboro boys hockey team entered Wednesday night’s game with Saturday’s 3-1 loss to U-32 in the back of their minds, and coach Eric Libardoni made it clear that they needed a better performance to win games.
"You’ve got to take care of the puck," noted Libardoni. "We were too stubborn the other night and tried to carry the puck in. Setting up the forecheck is our key because that makes teams go the length of the ice."
The Colonels listened and went to work early against Peoples Academy at Nelson Withington rink, with goalie Greg DiSilva posting his sixth shutout of the season during Brattleboro’s 3-0 decision over the Wolves.
BUHS started off quick, taking multiple shots and creating chances. The Colonels early work paid off two minutes into the game when senior forward Adam Griffin made a great pass to fellow senior forward Romello Lindsey, who finished with a wrist shot goal up front. After the first goal, Brattleboro continued to control the puck and outworked their opponent for much of the first.
The Colonels defense not only helped control the puck for much of the first period, but also limited Peoples Academy to very few chances and shots on DiSilva. Brattleboro went into the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
A theme of the game was the physical play, which started toward the end of the first and lasted the rest of the way.
"We were smart and physical, too," said coach Libardoni on his team’s physical play. "We had a lot of good hits and were still smart in not taking penalties. We are physical. We have a lot of big guys and we need to use the size to our advantage."
The second period started with both teams exchanging big checks and continuing the trend of physical play. Griffin was a major factor in the Colonels physical game and also contributed with the forecheck, which is so vital for this team. After Peoples made a roughing penalty with 8:43 left, the Colonels went right to work on the power play. Eleven seconds later, Griffin took a slap shot from the point and buried the puck in the top, left corner. The second period continued to be very physical with BUHS having more opportunities on offense. The Colonels took a 2-0 lead into the second intermission.
BUHS continued to attack on offense early in the third, and made the Peoples goaltender work hard for consecutive saves. The Colonels chances turned into a goal with 11:42 left when Griffin scored another goal up front and made it a three-goal lead. Brattleboro controlled the puck for much of the third and had more opportunities, yet was equally physical with Peoples Academy.
"We were pretty consistent," noted coach Libardoni on his team’s performance. "It’s good to bounce back. I was worried about our psyche after our poor performance in Saturday’s game. Saturday was a big game and we didn’t show up well. Tonight, I was happy to see we did some things we were asked to do, and an overall good team effort."
The 9-2 Colonels will next play at St. Johnsbury on Saturday.