BRATTLEBORO >> Feb. 6-7 passed as just another action-packed weekend for teams representing the Brattleboro Hockey Association (BHA). At all levels of the Association, from the Learn-to-Skate set through to Bantam, blue and white players were passing, shooting, and scoring on their home ice at the Nelson Withington rink at Brattleboro's Memorial Park and other stops along the Greater Springfield League (GSL) and Vermont State Amateur Hockey Association (VSAHA).
On Sunday morning, both Brattleboro Novice Squads were able to deliver strong showings in their second week of games at the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, Mass. Slick stick handling by Henry Schwartz (9 goals) fueled the White Hawks offensive machine in their game with Nonotuck (Easthampton, Mass.) White Knights. Senji Kimura (3 goals) and Malika Anthes collected assists, dishing out saucy passes to their teammates Talia Betit-Engel (4 goals), Jacob Sharkey (2 goals), and Ethan Ahnert (3 goals) hustled on the ice to thwart several Nonotuck bids. On the other side of the cross-ice divider, the Brattleboro Blue Hawks displayed passing and communication as their offense rolled against the Ludlow Novice Gold Lions.
The Brattleboro Squirts traveled to the Olympia on Feb. 6 to take on the Springfield (Mass.) Capitals. The Hawks were pleased with the results, improving their record to 19-0 with an 11-4 win. Rowan Lonergan led the Squirts to victory with a career high six-point game, recording 5 goals and 1 assist. Will Hill netted 3 goals and collected an assist. Leo Bodett lit the lamp twice while registering an assist. Emmett Smith potted 2 goals and Bryce Boyd-Tucker had a goal and an assist. Alix Dumont had an awesome game on defense, skating very hard in support of goaltender Kyle Hamilton, who notched another strong game in net.
The Squirts were at home on Sunday, facing the Holy Name (Springfield, Mass.) Stars. The two teams locked up in a hard fought game with Brattleboro coming out on top 7-5. Will Hill and Leo Bodett scored goals in the first period with Hill recorded an assist on Bodett's goal. In the second, Emmett Smith found the back of the net while Bodett and Hill both scored their second goals of the game. The Hawks weren't finished as Hill and Bodett scored one more apiece, recording twin hat tricks. William Miskovich distributed 2 assists and Marina Wilson was a defensive standout in the game, making several nice plays that helped the Hawks edge the Stars. The win leaves the Squirts 20-0 on the season and according to coach Dave Gerard, "The team looks to be hitting its stride just in time for the GSL playoffs."
At the Pee Wee level, the Hawks also logged another weekend's worth of strong play in GSL action. On Saturday the Hawks traveled to Easthampton to take on the Nonotuck Gold Knights at Lassone Rink. The defense was on lockdown mode, led by the tenacious checking of Nelly Tattersall, Lauren Carpenter, Derek Parsons and Ethan Young. The few times the Gold Knights were able to get past the Hawks blue liners, goaltender Darek Harvey was there to keep the Knights off the board. The Hawks offense got two goals apiece from Aden McMahon and Jack Pattison with helpers from Will Taggard and Torin Kindopp in the 4-0 shutout. On Sunday the Hawks hosted the high flying Holy Name Stars at the Withington Rink in Brattleboro. Ethan Young scored the first goal of the game on a beautiful coast-to-coast rush. Young's tally was followed by two Pattison snipes set up by Taggard and Kindopp. In the third period the Stars closed the gap with two quick goals of their own, but they would get no closer than 3-2. Cameron Fry set Aden McMahon up in front before Pattison completed his hat trick off a silky dish from Taggard and Alex Palomba putting the exclamation point on the 5-2 win. The two wins ran the Hawks first place record to 18-0-2 with 4 league games remaining.
Saturday found the BHA Bantams at Withington Rink facing off against Amherst (Mass.) in the final 2016 GSL regular season meeting between the two teams. Two weeks earlier, Amherst had come north of the border and doubled up the Hawks 8-4. This time Brattleboro proved to be too much for Amherst in a 4-3 victory. Max Albright stayed hot scoring his third goal in as many games, opening the scoring in the first period, assisted by Gabe Heiden. Andrew Peloso broke the game's 1-1 tie with an unassisted goal in the third minute of middle frame. Heiden extended the Brattleboro lead to 3-1 with a goal a minute and a half later. Amherst battled back adding a goal and threatening Austin Wood, who stood tall in between the pipes. Tyler Higly's goal assisted by Alex Hudon in the tenth minute of the second period put the game out of reach as Wood and the Hawks defensive core of Hudon, Nathan Powers and Mason Foard neutralized Amherst's six player attack, after they pulled their goalie, late in third.
Sunday's trip to the venerable Giorghetti rink in Rutland brought different results. In their final VSAHA qualifying game, the Hawks were upended 11-2 by the "AA" rated Spartans. Bantam goals were scored by Andrew Peloso on a power play, with a sweet feed from Nathan Powers, and Gabe Heiden, assisted by Alex Hudon. The loss left them with a 3-1 record in VSAHA play. The Hawks head to Montpelier next for the Vermont State Tournament Bantam "A" playdown. The Hawks will face other Vermont "A" rated teams from Stowe, Burlington, and Middlebury on Saturday and Sunday.