Brattleboro's magical run comes to end
No. 6 Brattleboro was the fourth home team to fall in the busted bracket, losing to seventh-ranked Missisquoi Valley 2-1 in Friday's semifinal thriller at Memorial Park.
"I think they were a little faster than we were. They gave a little more effort than we did," said first-year BUHS coach Eugene Frost.
An estimated 500 people crowded around the rink as the Colonels tried to reach a championship game for the first time in program history. Parking spaces on the upper and lower levels of the park were all filled.
"It was an unbelievable crowd," Frost noted. "We had so much support."
Goalies Madison Conley (Missisquoi) and Eliya Petrie (Brattleboro) put on a show during the scoreless first period. Conley rejected a wicked slap shot by Tobin Lonergan. Petrie answered by denying Renee Bouchard on a coast-to-coast rush.
After his players warmed up for the second period, Frost tapped each of them on the helmet as they joined him on the bench. He then looked on as Petrie robbed Brianna Parent, Lora Fresn and Makayla Young.
But the junior had no chance at the 6:28 mark, when Fresn received a pass from Callie Parks and rifled it home from point-blank range.
Parks then set up a goal by Parent early in the third period to put the Thunderbirds ahead 2-0.
"Let's go Colonels!" the Brattleboro backers began repeating in unison.
On Brattleboro's prettiest offensive play of the day, Juliana Miskovich kicked the puck out to defenseman Tobin Lonergan, who passed across to Juniper DiMatteo-LePape for an open shot that Conley got in front of.
The home fans would go berserk with 1:11 remaining when Miskovich scored with a wraparound goal to make it 2-1. The purple and white had three chances to pull even, however Conley stopped a rebound attempt by Miskovich, a blast by Lonergan, and a shot from DiMatteo-LePape down the stretch.
"I thought Eliya played great today," the BUHS coach mentioned. "Juliana has been a leader all year long for us. She has a great future."
The Colonels finished up with an 8-13-1 mark and made it to a semifinal for just the fourth time ever.
"These girls are unbelievable," stated Frost. "From where we started — 0-3 and giving up eight or 10 goals per game — nobody expected us to be here."
And it's doubtful that anyone in the state predicted that top-seeded Burr and Burton, No. 2 North Country/Lyndon and third-ranked U-32 would all fail to reach the Final 4.
Brattleboro roster: Coaches — Eugene Frost, Greg Frost, Logan Robinson. Players — Eliya Petrie, Max Yost, Grace Szpila, Olivia Romo, Jenna Murrow, Rosie Carignan, Kalin Noble, Abbey Squiers, Liz Day, Juliana Miskovich, Juniper DiMatteo-LePape, Katie Inman, Brianna Paul, Katelynn Hamilton, Edie Cay, Sophia Mikijanies, Lila Alexander, Tobin Lonergan, Emma Allen, Natalie Gadowski.
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