BRATTLEBORO -- Nobody was able to identify what was flying low over Natowich Field on Wednesday night.
A bird? A plane? Ian Cebek?
Brattleboro’s junior goalie made 15 saves, with a handful of those being super, as the Colonels crushed the Rutland boys lacrosse team, 15-6.
"Ian played a sharp game. In back to back games, he has been pretty solid," said BUHS coach Chris Sawyer.
Cebek stopped first-period shots by Joseph Couture, Devan Maniery, Jacob Sabourin, Bobby Bergen and Evan Abatiell, after Bergen broke the ice to give Rutland a 1-0 lead.
The Colonels followed with a 7-0 run, including a hat trick by Brennen Zolnoski. Sam Siegel, Conner Elliott-Knaggs, Tanner Freeman and freshman Jack Gagnon also scored for the purple and white in that stretch.
Rutland answered with a couple of quick ones: Couture converted on a breakaway and then Maniery struck from in close.
Sawyer used a timeout to stop the bleeding during the penalty-filled game. The water boy made sure every player had a drink, the coaches gave instructions, and then the hosts did their "One, two, three, Colonels" cheer before breaking the huddle.
Siegel, who had set up Zolo’s second and third tallies, assisted on a point-blank shot by Freeman that put the Colonels ahead 8-3 at the intermission.
Superman denied shots from Rutland’s Austin O’Gorman and Cooper Babbitt to begin the second half. Colby McGinn, Aleks Harrison and Kyle Patno then played tight defense on the next Rutland possession to maintain the five-goal lead.
"I felt like our defense was more cohesive. They played as a unit," noted Sawyer.
The Colonels increased their lead to 11-3 with goals from Gagnon, Siegel and Zolo. And then Maniery beat Cebek late in the third.
Brattleboro sealed the deal with a 3-0 surge to start the final period. The third of those was the prettiest: Elliott-Knaggs scooped up a loose ball near midfield and passed ahead to Siegel, who dished over to Freeman for the finish.
That had the home crowd into it. What Cebek did after that had them in shock.
The junior goalie somehow turned back quality shots by Couture, Bergen and Connor Balestra in a span of 3:30.
Rutland would get goals from Couture and Bergen, before Elliott-Knaggs capped the scoring. Elliott-Knaggs and Freeman took turns milking the last two minutes away to secure the victory.
After shaking hands with the Raiders, the BUHS players noticed something flying low over the field. Someone was sure it was a seagull, others believed it was a bat, and a couple of people thought it might be an owl.
"We have a good group of kids," stated Sawyer. "The kids work really hard."
Zolnoski had five goals to lead the attack, while Freeman and Elliott-Knaggs each finished with a hat trick. Siegel (2 goals, 4 assists) and Gagnon (2 goals) also put the heat on.
The 7-1 Colonels will host 4-2 Burr and Burton today.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext.163.