BRATTLEBORO >> Having savored the performance of the Brattleboro Hockey Association's U-14 girls in the Green Mountain Tournament, the BHA sent its Squirt team north to compete in the 2016 Winter Classic Tournament. Like their U-14 counterparts, the Hawks hard work was rewarded with a third finish place in the tourney, posting a record of 2-1-1.
The Squirts traveled to Burlington on Jan. 16 for a game against a team from Andover, Mass., and lost 7-3. Brattleboro goal scorers were Emmett Smith (2), and William Miskovich (1 goal, 1 assist). Rowan Lonergan also chipped in with an assist. Miskovich received player of the game honors for the Hawks.
On Jan. 17, the Squirts played two games. They started off by bouncing back against a team from Lake Placid, N.Y, and prevailed 4-3. Leo Bodett opened the Brattleboro scoring with a first-period goal, Will Hill potted the next two — with one in the second period and one in the third. Emmett Smith scored the final goal of the game, with the assist going to William Miskovich. Kyle Hamilton played a good game in goal, making several nice saves. William Hill was named the player of the game by the tournament organizers.
Later in the day, Brattleboro squared off for their third game of the weekend, facing a very strong South Burlington team that would go on to win the tournament. The Hawks skated to a 3-3 tie. Once again, Leo Bodett started the scoring in the first period, with William Miskovich collecting the assist. Later in the first, Bodett factored in the Hawks second goal, recording a helper as William Hill buried one. But Bodett was not through, as he collected his third point of the contest, and second goal of the game. Brattleboro goaltender Nick Gerard played a very strong game, making numerous saves and earning player of the game honors.
On Jan. 18, Brattleboro played in a consolation game to determine third and fourth place in the Winter Classic. Facing Andover, the Hawks hit the ice looking to avenge their 7-3 loss against them in the opening game of the tournament. Brattleboro dominated this game and took home a 7-3 win of its own. Leo Bodett continued to apply early pressure, scoring two more first-period goals. William Hill and Bodett scored in the second period. William Hill collected two goals in the third period and William Miskovich scored another. Nick Gerard played another strong game in net for Brattleboro. With the hat trick, Bodett was named player of the game. Brattleboro's defensive core — Alix Dumont, Marina Wilson, Kyle Hamilton, Rowan Lonergan and Bryce Boyd-Tucker — was outstanding throughout the tournament.
According to coach David Gerard, "The defense played very well. They were difference makers and a huge part of the team's success."
The Bantams got back to work on Saturday, falling to the Amherst, Mass. Hockey Association 8-4 at the Nelson Withington Rink at Memorial Park. The teams battled to a scoreless tie through one period. Both teams got going offensively in the second period. The Hawks found success with their revised power play scheme, potting three goals in the middle frame. Gabe Heiden tied the game at 1-1, with Tyler Higley collecting an assist. Mason Foard's blue line bomb cut the Amherst lead to 3-2 and Anthony Palomba's unassisted goal completed the Hawks' second-period scoring, But that was not enough to keep up with the high powered Amherst offense, which jumped out to a 7-3 lead. Both teams traded goals in the third, with Heiden collecting his second goal of the game.
On Sunday, the Hawks took their offense to the next level while playing a "home game" at the Collins-Moylan Rink in Greenfield, Mass. They continually delivered on the power play and prevailed 8-1 over the Ludlow white team. Jakob Curtiss had three goals and one assist to pace the Brattlboro offense. On Curtiss' first goal, Ryan Gerard picked up the assist. On his second, "the Vernon Flash" was set up by Andrew Peloso and Gerard. Maxwell Albright and Tyler Higley fed Curtiss on his third goal of the game. Tyler Higley got the offense started with two first-period goals. Aubrey Goodband, Albright and Peloso each added a goal for the Bantams. Forrest Wohnus and Austin Wood were able to neutralize the Ludlow attack, with Gerard, Alex Hudon, and Nathan Powers providing sold work on the defensive end of the ice.
The Bantams also learned that they would be playing in the "A" Bracket of the Vermont State Amateur Hockey Association for the 2016 Vermont State Tournament.