Monday December 17, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- The Colonel girls hockey team fell to Hartford, 4-1, in a non-league matchup Saturday afternoon at Nelson Withington Rink.

The game started out with some close calls against Brattleboro goalie Alex Fellows, and every time she made a stop, the crowd would roar and stomp the bleachers.

That ruckus didn’t seem to distract Caroline Miller too much. The Hurricane winger slung in her team’s first goal, assisted by Elyse Lindahl, with three minutes left in the first period.

Madison Doucette and Amber Bessette began to ease the puck into Hartford territory and off to Colonel captain Maddie Rollins, so she could test their opponents a few times, before the opening period came to a close.

After Hartford’s initial make, Rollins and Bessette took control for the rest of the first, but at times, getting anywhere down rink for the two, was like skating into a blue brick wall.

"Hartford is a strong physical team," said BUHS coach Linda Burke. "They’re big, fast, and can move the puck very well."

The Hurricanes took 34 shots total, and half of those were unloaded in the first period.

The Colonels’ lone goal came from Rollins, unassisted, in the second with six minutes on the clock, after she went board to board across the top to fire a shot from the right, into the top left corner of the Hartford net. Kellie Schiller and Grace Willingham provided some support out front, chasing the puck away from Hartford while clearing the runway for Rollins.

But Hartford had already put away two more in the same period, the first courtesy of Alexandra Fogg, and the next from Haley Grigel, both goals unassisted. Grigel made a tricky swipe at the start and blew right past a couple Brattleboro defenders, and put up a shot, but was denied by Fellows. Then Brattleboro’s Rebecca Potter and Bessette went on the counter-offensive, and began to shoot back.

"Positionally, I think we looked good today," said Burke. "Potter, Doucette, Rollins, Bessette -- they all handled the puck well in our zone."

Going into the last round, Brattleboro challenged the Hartford puck a lot less, which gave Fogg another opportunity to flick in her team’s final goal, assisted by Elizabeth Bergeron, at the 5:00 mark.

"We’ve got some new skaters this year," noted Burke. "The more we’re on the ice, the better we get. Player speed will come with time."

The 1-2 Colonels play at Burr & Burton on Wednesday at 5:45 p.m.

David Aquino can be reached at daquino@reformer.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.