BRATTLEBORO — Studies have shown that left-handed people are more likely to be insomniacs, better at multi-tasking and more likely to pursue creative careers.
As it turns out, they are also extremely dangerous on the ice.
Southpaws Sarah LaPorte, Axis Balsley Petraska and Emma Rueter scored a combined five goals during the Brattleboro varsity girls ice hockey team's 9-0 rout of North Country on Wednesday evening at Memorial Park.
"Sarah is really good with the puck. She has a good reach and she's smart," said BUHS coach Linda Burke of LaPorte, who ended up with a hat trick.
The junior tri-captain tallied twice in the first four minutes — each time from 15 feet away — to give the Colonels a 2-0 lead. She would get her third goal early in the second period by beating North Country netminder Erica Bogar from the right wing.
The purple and white dominated the first 15 minutes, outshooting the Falcons 15-1.
Petraska, who was filling in for injured defenseman Chulie Vinton (back spasms), put on a show in the opening period. The sophomore superwoman took six shots in that span — she missed high with a couple of rockets, wowed the crowd with a coast to coast rush, glanced one attempt off of the crossbar, and was robbed by Bogar twice.
"She is great at handling the puck," coach Burke said of Petraska.
The Colonels were hoping to steal a big lead early on in order to give their newer players more experience. But a slap shot by Hannah Curtiss, a couple of attempts from Emily Martyn, Rueter's two chances, and an attack by Jamie Mahoney were all denied. The home fans were also treated to centering passes from Kylee Shatrau and Olivia Stent.
Brattleboro upped its lead to 5-0 via goals from Mahoney, LaPorte and Stent in the first 2:09 of the second period. Burials by Rueter, Mahoney and Natalie Gadowski later in the frame made it 8-0, with Mahoney scoring by deflecting a blast by Petraska and then setting up Gadowski's first varsity goal.
"They (North Country) are the defending champs, but they lost a lot of seniors from that team," noted coach Burke.
The Colonels finished the game with a 42-11 advantage in shots, and seven of North Country's attempts came in the final period. Savannah Alberghini-Girioux, who had looked like an All-Star during the pre-game drills, threatened three times for the Falcons but was unable to fool BUHS goalie Keagan Jameson.
"In some of our games, she faces a ton of shots," said Burke of her junior netminder. "We just wanted her to stay focussed. She did a really good job of that."
Brattleboro's defensive duos of Petraska-Curtiss and Elizabeth Day-LaPorte continued to challenge threats and also keep the puck inside the blue line. LaPorte would make a pretty rush and dish to Meara Seery, while Mahoney and Rueter each skated the puck behind the net before slipping it into the slot.
Petraska made the play of the day with 3:40 remaining. The talented lefty charged toward Bogar on a breakaway, got the North Country goalie leaning one way and then shifted the puck to the other side of her before backhanding it inside the right post to make the final score 9-0.
The 2-6-1 Colonels will play at Hartford on Saturday.
Sarah LaPorte, unassisted, 1-0
LaPorte, unassisted, 2-0
Jamie Mahoney, Kylee Shatrau assist, 3-0
LaPorte, Emma Rueter assist, 4-0
Olivia Stent, Stephanie Hood assist, 5-0
Rueter, Kalin Noble assist, 6-0
Mahoney, Hannah Curtiss assist, 7-0
Natalie Gadowski, Mahoney/Noble assists, 8-0
Axis Balsley Petraska, unassisted, 9-0
Keagan Jameson, shutout — 11 saves