First-Year Woodstock Girls Are Vt. State Champs
Waterbury, Vt. — The Woodstock Junior Wasps U12 girls hockey team, in its first year of operation, came home as a Vermont state champion on Sunday, winning the final of its Division A/B tournament thanks to a 2-0 shutout of Missisquoi at the Waterbury Ice Center.
Goaltender Annabelle Lessard recorded her fourth clean sheet in four postseason games to backstop the victory. Sidney Pilot produced the game-winning goal in the first period on passes from Lauren Miller and Hannah Coates, while Sadie Kuhn’s unassisted breakaway goal in the second period provided some cushion. The forechecking of Samantha Yates and Sofia Kantola, combined with the defensive play of Khara Brettell, Lauren Forgione and Rose Donaldson, helped keep the Thunderbirds in check.
Audrey Lee, Anna Hepler, Maria Shontz and Claire Coates also contributed to the championship for coaches Ian Coates and John Kuhn. Woodstock reached the final after going 2-0-1 against St. Albans, Middlebury and Missisquoi during early-round state tourney play in Morrisville, Vt., the previous weekend.
Work OT for Title
Exeter, n.h. — Cici Barton’s goaltending and Katie Whalen’s double-overtime goal pushed the Hanover U12 girls to the championship of the Granite State League Tier II state tournament on Feb. 17 in a 1-0 defeat of Concord.
Hanover began the tourney with a 5-0 blanking of the Northern Cyclones, with Hannah Curtis scoring three goals and setting another to augment tallies from Mia Brown and Rose Sperry and three helpers from Hannah Curtis. Olive Scull’s game-winning goal propelled the Wild to a 6-3 defeat of Twin Valley in their second game, while Hanover threw its second shutout of the weekend in its final group game, a 4-0 blanking of the New Hampshire Avalanche keyed by Barton’s netminding, the defensive play of Emma Tysinger, Bryn Kable and Laura White, two goals from Sperry and single strikes from Scull and Whalen.
The Wild won’t have to go far to get a crack at regional honors: Woodstock’s Union Arena and West Lebanon’s Campion Rink will host the New England Tier II tournament on March 8-10.
Flyers Win Mass. Crown
Marlborough, Mass. — Avenging an early defeat along the way, the Twin Valley Peewees grabbed a 5-2 win over the East Haven (Conn.) Yellow Jackets to take the C Division championship of the Central Mass Winter Classic tournament.
The Flyers split Friday’s opening games, losing to the Cape Cod Coyotes Black, 2-1, before bouncing back for a 6-0 shutout of the Saratoga Springs (N.Y.) Blue Knights on a two-goal, two-assist performance from Andrew Hadlock and a one-goal, two-assist contribution from Justin McDonald. Twin Valley routed the Cape Cod Coyotes White, 9-0, on a Jacob Hyjek hat trick and two goals from Patrick Hyjek on Saturday to advance to the semifinals.
Against Cape Cod Black again, the Flyers used Jacob Hyjek’s goal just 12 seconds into the contest as the springboard to a 4-1 win. The Flyers prevailed in the championship game over East Haven thanks to two-goal games from Jacob Hyjeck and Kyra Russman-Araya, a goal and two helpers from McDonald, a Patrick Hyjek assist and the goaltending of Andrew Friend and Jared Audette.
In Mass. Final
Marlborough, Mass. — Blitzing through a field of seven teams from Massachusetts and New Jersey, the Hanover Peewee Whites reached the B Division final of the Central Mass Winter Classic last weekend before losing a 4-3 heartbreaker to the WHK Hawks of Hanson, Mass., in the final of B Division play on Sunday.
The Wild went 2-0-1 in preliminary-round play, giving up just four goals behind the netminding of Eliana Ray and the defensive play of Aaron Damren, Brian Pattison, Duncan Bailey and Ben Booker. Hanover opened with a 2-0 win over East Boston-Malden on goals from Patrick Daley and Hunter Whyte, followed by Sam Shepherd’s hat trick in a 3-1 defeat of the Toms River (N.J.) Blackhawks. Jacob Derosier’s backhand goal capped a Wild comeback in its final round-robin game, a 3-3 tie with New Jersey’s Protech Ducks that followed scores from Alex Weinman and Whyte.
Shepherd scored twice, with Booker and Jackson Stotland providing the rest of the goals, in a 4-1 defeat of East Boston-Malden in the semifinals. Hanover rallied from a 3-0 third-period deficit in the finals on two goals from Weinman and one from Cameron Woods, but the Hawks took the championship with a tiebreaking conversion in the final seconds of regulation.
West Lebanon — Led by Casey Graham’s hat trick and three assists from Ellis DeMars, the Hanover Squirt White closed its regular season with a 6-3 win over the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs on Sunday at Campion Rink.
Gavin Slider made 11 saves in goal during the victory, helped by key defensive plays from Quincy McBride, Jakob Reznek and William Tarnowski.
William Brannen, Thomas Beaver and Jordan Larson scored Hanover’s other goals. Graham, Larson and Archer Judd finished with an assist each.
Woodstock — The Woodstock House Squirts closed their regular season with a 4-1 win over the Upper Valley Storm House Squirts on Sunday at Union Arena.
Calef Hepler did the most damage for the Wasps, scoring a hat trick backed by an unassisted full-ice goal from Mason Harkins. Camden White and Auden Oliver-Yeager also contributed with assists on offense.
Ethan Mello came within 40 seconds of posting a shutout, with the Storm getting one late goal. Caleb Morse and Sadie Gravelle both had strong games on defense for the Wasps.
Bruins Alumni Visiting
Woodstock — The Boston Bruins Alumni team will pay a visit to Union Arena for the ninth consecutive year on Saturday, playing a group of coaches allied with the ongoing Bear Invitational youth hockey tournament at 3 p.m.
Past Bruin greats such as Terry O’Reilly, Brad Park and Rick Middleton are expected to suit up for the contest along with former players Bruce Shoebottom, Dave Shaw, Glen Featherstone, John Carter and others. The contest serves as a fundraiser for UA to support its yearlong programs and has a history of selling out all 700 available seats. Bruins players will be available for autographs after the game.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children under age 12, and can be purchased either in person at UA or via the phone at 802-475-2500.
In the Saddle
GMHA Holds Fundraiser
Loxahatchee, Fla. — With member Ruth Hogan-Poulsen serving as hostess, the Green Mountain Horse Association has brought in a minimum of $20,000 toward its footing system upgrade project through a Florida fundraiser on Feb. 11.
The night served as the kickoff event for the project, which will involve a major improvement for the riding surfaces of the South Woodstock campus’ competition rings. More than 185 people attended the soiree at Hogan-Poulsen’s Bespoke Farm, taking part in a silent auction and hearing the thoughts of U.S. Dressage Foundation president George Williams.
Timing is important for the GMHA project, with the first-phase work — including installation of sport-specific sand — scheduled for completion in time for the upcoming Vermont riding season. A fiber filament will be added to the sand as fundraising continues.
GMHA has plans to expand its efforts beyond Vermont as it continues to enhance its offering and facilities. If interested in helping out, contact GMHA’s Molly Hutchins at 802-457-1509 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Snow
BWL GS Qualifiers Set
Lyme Center — The Ford Sayre Ski Council alpine program finalized its lineup of competitors for the upcoming Buddy Werner League State Championships by competing in Sunday’s final Western Division qualifying race at the Dartmouth Skiway.
FSSC’s Oliver Morgan, Kyle Rozzi and Joey Perras went 1-3-4 in the U12 boys race, with Elaine Taylor, Maia Garfield and Riley Craft going 2-3-4 for the girls. Alexander Purcell and Mal Flynn were 2-5 in the U14 boys for Ford Sayre, while the club’s Sadie Lingelbach-Pierce and Sofia Sacerdote finished only behind Kimball Union’s Tori Chernin in the U14 girls race. Camden Reiss and Camden Dwyer were 4-5 for Ford Sayer among U10 boys, while Molly Hackett (fourth) had the club’s only top-five result among U10 girls. Results from qualifers at Mount Sunapee and Andover’s Blackwater Ski Area helped fill rosters for the state finals, which will be held March 9-10.
Ford Sayre will send the following skiers to the girls finals at Waterville Valley: U12 — Elaine Taylor, Riley Craft, Maia Garfield, Eva Schiffman, Jasmine Tracy, ella Edmonds, Willa McGough, Isla Cotter, Maisy Pekala, Elizabeth Joffrey, Pepper Joseph, Lucy Doyle. U14 — Sadie Lingelback-Pierce, Sofia Sacerdote, Carly Craft, Maggie McCutcheon, Isabelle Kocher, Caitlin Blinkhorn, Sarah Bozuwa.
FSSC will send the following boys to their state meet at Loon Mountain: U12 — Oliver Morgan, Joey Perras, Kyle Rozzi, Colter Lingelbach-Pierce, Frans Luttmer, Ethan Ross, Eric Goodney, Josh Chu, James Healy, Jack Loftus, Will Blinkhorn. U14 — Alexander Purcell, Colin Rozzi, Charlie Lang, Mal Flynn, Max Wonsavage, Johannes Testorf, Jack Brendel, Finn Hackett.
Chernin, as well as Cardigan Mountain’s Seth Gray, Juan Belvis Alvo, Emery Gray, Ryan Houx, Nolan Feeley and Luke Cuticelli also qualified for their respective BWL state meets.
Stratton, Vt. — Whaleback Core Team freestyle skier Konrad Mitchell is off to the U.S. national championships in Utah, fresh from his efforts at the Eastern Freestyle Championship at Stratton Mountain last weekend.
Mitchell cemented his trip to this week’s nationals in Utah by taking 11th place in Saturday’s single moguls and sixth in Sunday’s dual moguls. Mitchell is from Hanover.
Leigh Takes WhaleJam
Enfield — Norwich’s Brook Leigh highlighted efforts from Whaleback Core Team competitors last weekend by winning his age group in the WhaleJam USSA freestyle ski competition at the Enfield ski area on Sunday.
Leigh was also second overall in Sunday’s mogul meet, capping a day that included a sixth-place age-group finish for Hanover’s Chanler Miller. Miller led Whaleback in Saturday’s slopestyle meet by taking ninth in his age group, while Norwich’s Jon Thoms and Kazune Matsuoka both took 13th in their respective divisions.
Miller, Thomas and Matsuoka are bound for the Tri-State Freestyle Championship at Mount Sunapee this weekend.
Curling Demo at WBA
White River Junction — The Upper Valley Curling Club, in conjunction with the Hartford Parks and Recreation Department, will hold an introductory clinic for people new to the sport on Saturday evening at Wendell Barwood Arena.
The UVCC will provide all necessary supplies for newcomers to learn the basics of the winter game. Participants are asked to bring a clean pair of shoes or boots and to dress for the cold.
The cost of the clinic is $5. Call Hartford Parks and Rec at 802-295-5036 for more information.
To the Hoop
Newport Wins Title
Charlestown, n.h. — With J.T. Blaine scoring a team-high seven points, Newport’s travelling fifth- and sixth-grade boys basketball team defeated Lebanon, 17-12, to take the championship of the Charlestown Tournament on Saturday.
Cole MacNamara helped the Tigers’ cause with four points and five rebounds. Dylan Bocash led the way on the glass with 10 rebounds for Newport, which also picked up key contributions from Tony Robertson and Joey Ackerman.
Brandon Kraft, Kobe Gallo, Austin Davis and Benjamin Carl also contributed to the tourney win for the Tigers, who are 3-1 on the season. The team is coached by Jay Blaine and Craig Robertson.
At the Net
Newport — Fifth- and sixth-graders from Newport’s Towle Elementary School recently completed a winter of tennis instruction provided voluntarily by members of the Newport Tennis Club.
Making use of special balls and racquets provided by the U.S. Tennis Association, the Towle students worked to build skills in progressive sessions lasting 90 minutes over a five-week period.
The QuickStart program was led by Colby-Sawyer College tennis coach Barry Schoonmaker.
With the Dogs
Plaisted On Top of Hill
Hill, n.h. — Orford musher Fran Plaisted had a big weekend at the Hill Village New Hampshire Sled Dog Races on Feb. 17, winning one division will finishing second in another.
Plaisted claimed a victory in the adult six-dog speed class race for dog sleds, covering the 12-mile course in 44 minutes, 6 seconds.
Plaisted nearly made it a double in the adult two-dog speed class skijoring race, settling for second place in 23:49 over eight miles.