Monday December 10, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- The Colonels varsity girls hockey team fell, 4-0, in their opener against Burr & Burton on Saturday.

"We need more work," said Colonel coach Linda Burke. "But I think we’re the type of team that will keep getting better as the season progresses."

The Bulldogs’ first two goals came within 10 seconds of each other during the opening period, with Lucy Bisselle scoring the first at the 4:50 mark and Erin Thompson getting the next goal immediately after, both players unassisted.

Hannah Dingley and freshman Aggie Bisselle scored their first goals ever as varsity Bulldogs. Mary Leech flicked it ahead to Dingley for the assist, and Bisselle’s came via Dingley’s dish.

Dingley broke through on that promising drive, to place the puck inside the Colonel net midway through the second. A. Bisselle cut into the blue line and swept across the top of the attack zone to put away the teams’ final goal using a backhanded slap, with five minutes left in the same period.

Brattleboro, on the other hand, had some trouble setting up their plays. When they did get inside, there was often a wall of green and gold in their way. Then they had to contend with getting a shot past the Burr & Burton goalie, which was no simple task.

"We had an unforeseeable complication with our goalie situation, but Jennifer Dorr did great as our fill-in," said Burr & Burton coach Eddie Lewicki. Dorr had nine saves.

Frustrated, and down by a few goals,
Maddie Rollins took command of the Brattleboro offense in the second period, going to work mostly on the right wing, often busting through the Burr & Burton defense to take some hard but accurate shots anywhere she could find a spot to square up.

"She is clearly our star," said Burke. "Best on defense and offense; a smart player with a lot of determination."

Lewicki agrees. In his opinion, Rollins is probably the best Division 2 player in the state.

"You tend to notice when Rollins is on, and off, the ice," said the Bulldog coach. "She has an all-star presence about her."

So the Colonels are fortunate to have Captain Rollins in their corner.

Then again, the purple and white are fortunate to even have a varsity team this year, given the fact that the Colonels lost half of their team the year prior to graduation, along with the program experiencing a slight shortage of players at the start of the current season.

"I give the players credit," said Burke. "They are the ones who saved our program. We had a shortage of players, but the kids came through."

On the Colonels defense, Madison Doucette hassled the Bulldogs all night, disrupting them in front of the net by clearing passes and applying pressure to the team’s forwards. Doucette managed two steals, including a swipe that almost led to a goal in the first period.

Team captain Rebecca Potter, and right wing Amber Bessette, provided additional support for the Brattleboro team. Colonel goalie Alex Fellows had 18 saves.

The Bulldogs were the 2012 Lake Division champions.

The Colonels host Woodstock on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.

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