Thursday February 14, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Pink was everyone’s favorite color Wednesday afternoon at Nelson Withington Skating Facility, no matter what side of the rink you were on.

The Colonel girls hockey team hosted U-32 at their annual "Pink at the Rink" game, and shut out the Raiders, 2-0.

The event is an annual fundraiser for the Young Survivor’s Coalition, a nonprofit that offers assistance and support services to young women battling breast cancer.

The Colonels rocked bright pink jerseys, and U-32 came to the show in regular attire, but some of the team’s players sported pink ribbons wrapped around a leg to show their support.

Maddie Rollins scored Brattleboro’s first goal in the second period at the 7:30 mark, with assists by Lou Lou Terwilliger and Rebecca Potter, as both teams held strong through the first. After a handful of shots at goal, and a few bounce outs from deflections, Rollins focused in, to slide one past the U-32 goalie.

"I think we were evenly matched," said Brattleboro coach Linda Burke. "I told the players they had a little more time and space than they thought they had. It was a good opportunity for the girls to take control and skate up the ice with it."

The Raiders took their initial bids early in the first as the Colonels struggled to move the puck out of the zone. Rollins blasted mean slapshots against U-32, as the Brattleboro team got within striking distance.

Teammate Kellie Schiller, who was skating faster than usual, also tried to find the back of the net. Meanwhile, Madison Doucette cleared the puck out from in front of the Colonel net.

In the second period, both teams came to life. The Raiders’ Rachel Ebersole, Megan Ryan and Meghan Wingate went to work in the Colonels’ turf, but they couldn’t get past Brattleboro’s Alex Fellows, who was a brick wall for the entire contest. Grace LaPorte and Potter created additional disruptions in front of the net, including a couple interceptions.

Terwilliger, Meyru Bhanti, and Amber Bessette used the boards and clever passing through the second and third, while Doucette continued sticking it to the U-32 offense, to keep the visitors frustrated.

In the second period, U-32 senior defender Stacy Woolaver, stole the puck then went for a drive down the middle, but lost control. Metta Sairs and Ebersole took Montpelier’s final shots on goal from the outside, but were denied by Fellows.

Brattleboro’s second goal came late in the third period on a power play, after Rollins went solo and pushed her way through the huddle to pick up a loose puck, then came down the right side and fired away, with 40 seconds remaining.

The Colonels took 28 shots to the Raiders’ 13.

The 4-12 Colonels need to win their next five games to qualify for the playoffs, and are looking for home ice advantage in their first matchup. The team next travels to North Country on Saturday for a 5 p.m. game.

David Aquino can be reached at daquino@reformer.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.