BRATTLEBORO -- The Colonel girls were shutout by the Raiders, 3-0, at a varsity hockey game played Saturday afternoon at Living Memorial Park.
Rutland buried two goals in the first period.
Mia Steupert took the first few shots, and Sarah Hamilton’s speed and pass precision enabled Kristina Bellomo to feed the puck to Kailie Matteson, who scored the Raider’s first goal, five minutes into the contest.
The team’s second goal came moments later, off a wrister from Bellomo, with Emme O’Rourke and Steupert on the assist, as Rutland continued to demo skilled passing.
"We gave away the game in the first period," said Brattleboro coach Linda Burke. "Then we had some silly penalties. Rutland is a disciplined team."
Brattleboro’s Maddie Rollins did her best to disrupt Rutland on their approach, and stayed low to the ice to sneak between the visitors’ towering defenders, as she began taking her team’s initial bids.
Madison Doucette and Meyru Bhanti also went on the charge for the Colonels, but Rutland goalie Brittany Pelkey, denied all attempts with her gangly reach.
Matteson, Hamilton, and Cassidy Thornton were a defensive triple threat that held up the Raider defense during the first two periods. And when they began to run out of steam, with the third period well underway, the team’s MacKenzie Laird stepped in with her physicality to clear the Colonels out of the zone.
"Our forecheckers did an outstanding job today," said Rutland coach Dirk Steupert. "We had to keep an eye on Rollins and Doucette, since those two can cause some serious trouble."
Penalties were rife and the situation got tense at times in front of the Colonel net, as the team struggled to keep Rutland away from the crease and prevent the next wave of attacks.
In their previous showdown, held at the end of last season, the teams tied, 1-1.
Brattleboro goalie Alex Fellows managed to hold off Rutland for six minutes before senior Hamilton put away her team’s final goal with a slapshot from the point, assisted by Bellomo.
Amber Bessete was back on the rink in form, after a brief absence. She and teammates Lou Lou Terwilliger, Rebecca Potter, and Kellie Schiller helped to trip up the Raider offense, while
Fellows smothered some hard shots, during the visitors’ scoreless third.
David Aquino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.