Thursday February 21, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- The Colonel girls hockey team fell to Stowe, 1-0, Wednesday night at Living Memorial Park.

"It wasn’t a lack of effort," said Brattleboro coach Linda Burke. "We did well, and all of our seniors represented the team and performed."

Kelli Grimes broke through the Colonel defense, late in the decision, to put away the Raider’s lone goal, with 6:45 left in the third period.

"It was sheer determination on Grimes’ behalf," said Stowe coach Rich Haab. "She forced her way through and took a quality shot."

Brattleboro’s Maddie Rollins went on the attack early in the first and fired away a shot that looked like it went in. The crowd roared, as everyone thought the Colonels had their first goal. But the referee lost sight of it, and the shot was no good.

Teammates Michaela Shea-Gander and Grace Willingham took additional shots, up close in front of the Raider net, while Madison Doucette took a few from the blue line.

Stowe’s Katie Stames and Ricki Haab were relentless on defense throughout the matchup, but especially so during the second period. Hannah Wykoff and Mary Fafard also spelled trouble for the Colonels’ defense.

So while the Brattleboro team wasn’t able to enjoy a win in its last regular-season contest, there was still cause for celebration.

It was Senior Night, and a sign for each 12th grader with their number was plastered on the glass facing inward. Before the game, each Colonel senior had their picture taken and a bouquet of flowers was given to each parent.

The six seniors who were honored at Wednesday’s game are Zameica Wright, Kellie Schiller, Greta Pellerin, Rebecca Potter, Lou Lou Terwilliger, and Maddie Rollins.

Wright, who is new to the team this year, didn’t get a lot of ice time in the beginning of the season, but showed up to play every game, first as a defender, then as a wing.

Schiller was all over the rink Wednesday, and was effective going after Stowe when they carried the puck into Brattleboro territory. Schiller is a key player who helps tie the team together.

Pellerin, a right wing, is also new to the team, but her skating has come a long way, according to her coach. "She’s physically strong, and does well moving the puck out of the zone," noted Burke.

The remaining three are the team’s captains.

Potter has been with the team since she was a freshman, and has improved dramatically every year she comes out for the team. Potter squared up and took some wicked shots in the second period against the Raiders, but it seemed no one could get one by Stowe’s Danielle Mayo.

Early in the season, Terwilliger came out of the Colonel net as goalie, and stepped up to become a formidable center. Terwilliger talks when she plays, providing the team with plenty of direction.

A fixture at the Colonel games, Brooky Sherwood, Terwilliger’s mom, is a proud parent and the team’s standard bearer. Sherwood unfurled her lauded "The Legs Feed the Wolf" flag and draped it across the glass with a helper, as the Colonels made their way out of the locker room back onto the rink, at the beginning of the second and third periods. Every player tapped the glass as they went by.

Rollins, however, had the distinct honor on Senior Night, as she was offically recognized by her school as only the second girl in Colonel history to acheive a 100-point career total, which she earned during a 2-0 victory over U-32 last week.

The first Colonel player was 2012 graduate, Emily Wilson.

Rollins said her dad, Phil, got her onto the ice when she was in second grade, and coached her when she played on the Brattleboro Hockey Association team, until she became a freshman.

"As captains, we are leaders, so we try to be good role models," said Rollins, who also said that same comradery is something that takes place, both on and off the ice.

As for Rollins’ future plans, when she graduates?

"I’m not sure if I’ll be playing hockey, but I will stick with sports," she said. "One day, I’d like to come back and coach kids of my own."

Beyond all of her personal and professional acheivements, the selfless Rollins said what she really believes in, is the team.

"The attention I have received is great because the whole team gets the recognition," said Rollins. "Having these accomplishments has helped us get more support from the school, and community."

The 5-14 Colonels will take a week off but will be practicing for their first playdown, team, place, and time TBA.

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