BRATTLEBORO >> The conclusion of regular season games in the Greater Springfield League (GSL) concluded with great results for Brattleboro Hockey Association (BHA) teams at all levels during February's fnal weekend.
The Squirt Hawks defeated the Amherst Rangers 10-2 at the Mullins Center on the University of Massachusetts campus. Will Hill led the way with six goals and one assist, Leo Bodett chipped in with two goals and one assist, and Bryce Boyd-Tucker and Emmett Smith each netted one goal. William Miskovich had two assists while Nick Gerard and Rowan Lonergan also recorded helpers. Kyle Hamilton was outstanding in the net for Brattleboro which extended its winning streak.
The next day, Alex Dumont and Marina Wilson each had one goal and one assist as the Squirts downed the Franklin County Hockey Association Green Wave 8-1 at Memorial Park. Rowan Lonergan was a force at forward and had a goal and three assists while Nick Gerard had one goal and one assist. William Hill (2 goals) and Leo Bodett (1 goal) continued their outstanding play. Emmett Smith showed his scoring touch, chipping in with a goal. Ben Greenwald, William Miskovich, and Bryce Boyd-Tucker all had one assist apiece. Once again, Kyle Hamilton protected the Brattleboro goal with another strong effort in net. With their victory, the Squirts completed GSL regular season play with a perfect 25-0-0 record and a first place finish in the GSL's Squirt South Divison.
The BHA entry at the PeeWee level also secured a GSL Southern Division Crown and unbeaten record by beating Wilbraham Twin Meadows of Massachusetts, 6-0 The Hawks finished their first place season with a strong 23-0-3 record and enter the playoffs as the No. 1 seed.
Ethan Young opened the scoring for the Hawks when he grabbed the puck in the defensive zone and turned on the afterburners to leave the WTM defenders in his dust before blowing a wrist shot past the goalie. Minutes later the Hawks took a 2-0 lead after Jack Pattison made a saucy dish to Alex Palomba, who snapped one bar down. Will Taggard made it 3-0 for the Hawks in the second with a sneaky shot from the goal line. In the third period the Hawks continued to pour it on. Brett Parsons buried a rebound after a strong play from Aden McMahon. Palomba, who got his second goal of the day after a power rush and dish play by Pattison and Taggard, finished off the Hawks scoring with a nice deke on a breakaway. Darek Harvey and his defensive wall of Nelly Tattersall, Derek Parsons, and Jack Rockefeller preserved the shutout.
The Brattleboro Bantams completed their GSL regular season with a four-game win streak, qualifying for the playoffs with a convincing 5-0 win versus the Nonotuck (Easthampton, Mass.) Knights. Nathan Powers and Gabe Heiden each scored to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead after one. Jakob Curtiss extended the Hawks lead to 3-0, scoring on a pass from Andrew Peloso. and Alex Hudon put the game away with a blast moving down the slot. Aubrey Goodband collected two assists. Austin Wood went the distance, earning a shutout victory. 2016-17 marked the return of BHA Bantam play in the GSL. All but two players were first-year Bantams, the level at which body checking becomes legal in USAHockey. Brattleboro finished the season with an overall record of 12-13-1.
At the Novice level, the Brattleboro Blue Hawks gave it their best against a strong opponent, the Black Duces of WTM. In their Sunday morning cross-ice contest at the Olympia, Coen Bassler and Colby Robinson had multi-goal games. Alex Fortier and Ethan Ahnert also chipped in on offense with goal apiece. Oakley McCarty showed great hustle on the ice. Sammy Lyford was a key contributor to the Hawks effort and Kaleb Betit once again was BHA's lead defender.
On the other side of the cross-ice divider, Brattleboro White Novice also played well in their contest with Ludlow Gold Lions. Top scorers Jacob Starkey, Malika Anthes and Henry Schwartz kept finding the twine. Senji Kimura and Talia Betit-Engel also lit the lamp for Brattleboro. The White Hawks' highlight of the game was Matrix Balsley-Petraska recording her first goal of the season.
Novice and Mite cross-ice hockey emphasizes skill development and team play. Games are played without the distraction of scoreboards and standings in accordance with USAHockey's American Development model. Through the BHA's Learn to Skate Program, boys and girls can learn to play hockey, free of cost by going to Nelson Withington rink at Memorial Park on Saturday mornings from late-October to early-March at 9 a.m.