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Hot Line Leads Wasps to Tourney Title

  • Woodstock High School's Lucas Piconi (17) stops abruptly on his skates to maneuver the puck around Hartford High School's Korrigan Allen (3) on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, during a game between Hartford and Woodstock at the Wendell A. Barwood Arena in White River Junction, Vt. Woodstock won, 6-2. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Woodstock High School's Charles Greene (15) celebrates after scoring a goal with his teammate Ely Chynoweth (11), who assisted with the goal on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, during a game between Hartford and Woodstock at the Wendell A. Barwood Arena in White River Junction, Vt. Woodstock won, 6-2. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • During a 5-on-3 power play, Hartford High School's Clayton Groenewald (12) receives a pass before setting up for a shot on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, during a game between Hartford and Woodstock at the Wendell A. Barwood Arena in White River Junction, Vt. Woodstock won, 6-2. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Woodstock High School's Ely Chynoweth (11) gets chased down by Hartford High School's AJ DeBois (6) on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, during a game between Hartford and Woodstock at the Wendell A. Barwood Arena in White River Junction, Vt. Woodstock won, 6-2. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, December 28, 2017

White River Junction — Woodstock High freshman forward Andrew Gubbins admitted that keeping up with his linemates can be difficult. It’s hard to blame him when one, speedy senior Steven Townley, is doing his best impression of Connor McDavid — the Edmonton Oilers star — on breakaways, and the other, shifty senior Cullen McCarthy, is once again playing Robin to Townley’s Batman.

Such was the case again on Thursday night in the Philippe H. Bouthillier Holiday Classic championship game, a 6-2 Woodstock win over host Hartford that seemed to encapsulate much of the Wasps’ early-season success: the combination of an up-and-coming goaltender in sophomore Henry Greene and a stellar top line featuring the youngster Gubbins and two veteran stars.

“It’s been a blast,” Gubbins said of his team’s hot start. “I love playing with Cullen and Steven. They’re like role models to me.”

Townley scored three goals in the victory, two on highlight-reel breakaways. McCarthy had a goal and two assists, with his strike coming just 35 seconds into the first period. Gubbins and Townley also assisted twice. Greene needed to make only eight saves.

“Both games against (Hartford), we jumped out early on them, which takes a little wind out of their sails early,” said Woodstock head coach Jon Chamberlain, whose team is now 5-0-0 this winter. “I think their goalie had an off night. … I loved our forecheck. We were all over them, four lines. Our goalie (Greene) played well.”

Tyler Hamilton and Clayton Groenewold scored for Hartford, which fell to 0-5-1. Groenewold’s goal came on a 5-on-3 advantage late in the third period; Hamilton’s goal was his fourth of the year. Goaltenders Ross McFate and Billy Mann combined for 14 saves in the loss.

“I just told my kids I feel better about what we did tonight compared to last time,” said Hartford head coach Todd Bebeau, whose team fell, 4-0, to the Wasps on Dec. 9 in their season opener. “We were a much better hockey team. The reality is they’re a very skilled, deep, well-coached team. There’s only so much we can do.

“We competed from beginning to end,” he added. “I thought we were engaged. We played with a lot of passion. The reality is Woodstock is a better hockey team than us. There’s no shame in that. I’m proud of my kids.”

Woodstock led 5-1 after two periods, the result of a heavy forecheck that kept the Hurricanes pinned in their own defensive end. Townley and freshman defenseman Charles Greene scored 12 seconds apart late in the second period to make the lead insurmountable.

“I thought our forecheck was really good tonight,” Chamberlain said. “We got after their D, created some turnovers. We spent a lot of time in their defensive zone.”

Much of Woodstock’s success can be credited to its top line; the trio has a combined 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) in its first five games. Gubbins has a goal and five assists and is trying to make the most of his playing time.

“It makes me try a lot harder,” Gubbins said. “Just trying to get the puck to them. … I’ve learned a lot. Mostly on the ice, like grittiness and grind.”

Added Chamberlain: “He’s a good player. He’s got good vision on the ice. Again, he’s only a freshman. You kind of forget that. Yeah, he’s coming right along.”

Woodstock will have the week off before hosting the Hurricanes next Friday, the third time this winter the two schools will face each other. Hartford hosts Northfield next Wednesday before the rematch.

“This means a lot,” Gubbins said of winning the tournament. “Like Cullen (McCarthy) said, it’s not the thing we’re here to do. We’re here to win a state championship. But it’s a step.”

Notes: Lebanon-Stevens’ Nate Chickering scored twice and senior goaltender Andrew Friend made 28 saves, but the Raiders dropped the Bouthillier Classic consolation game, 6-2, to Burr & Burton Academy. The Bulldogs scored three goals in the second and another three in the third. Goalie Ethan Simonds needed only 12 saves for the win. Lebanon dropped to 1-3-1 overall. … Woodstock’s Townley, McCarthy and Henry Greene, Hartford’s Patrick McGlone and BBA’s Eagan Schmitt and Steven Schmitt were named to the all-tournament team.

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.