Hurricanes’ Boys Lax Title Hopes Fall in Triple Overtime

  • Hartford High School senior Cicillia Moody consoles her classmate, lacrosse co-captain Chris Dorain, after the team's 10-9 triple-overtime loss to Stratton in the state championship game in White River Junction, Vt., on June 8, 2017. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hartford's Andrew Daley is checked in front of the net by Stratton's Zyllis Hawkins in the first of three overtimes in their state championship game in White River Junction, Vt., on June 8, 2017. Stratton won, 10-9. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Stratton's Liam McNamara is is swarmed by Hartford's defense in the second quarter of their state championship game in White River Junction, Vt., on June 8, 2017. Stratton won, 10-9. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, June 09, 2017

White River Junction — Stewart Olson threw up during halftime of the Hartford High School-Stratton Mountain School boys lacrosse game Thursday night. The Woodstock resident rallied, however, and later tossed in the Vermont Division III title game’s winning goal for the visiting Bears with 54 seconds remaining in the third overtime for a 10-9 victory.

Stratton Mountain blasted the Hurricanes, 10-0, in last year’s division title clash but this time escaped thanks to Olson’s floating shot, which he characterized as his first right-handed attempt all season. The Bears had called time out a minute earlier in a game that was an emotional roller coaster for a crowd of approximately 500 at Hartford High.

“They know I’m a lefty, and the (defender) in front of me set up so I couldn’t go that way,” said Olson, a junior at SMS, where he receives intense instruction in moguls skiing in hopes of becoming an Olympic participant. “But he overplayed me too far, which gave me an opening to shoot right-handed.

“There was a screen in front of the goal, and my teammate, Henry Kosinkski, tried to jump out of the way. The ball hit his leg and went in.”

With it went Hartford’s hopes of returning to Division II next season in possession of a championship plaque. The Hurricanes and the mishmash of five to seven other teams that made up Division III the past two seasons will be absorbed back into the higher classification.

“You couldn’t have done more than you did,” Hartford coach Bill Elberty told his players in a postgame huddle. “What defines you is not if you win or lose. … I want our guys to stand back up every time they’re knocked down.”

Stratton Mountain (10-4) looked as if it might knock the hosts out early, taking a 3-1 lead and enjoying four man-up situations during the first quarter as Hartford began taking obvious and unnecessary penalties. The Hurricanes committed eight of the game’s nine fouls, surrendered three goals while down a man and several times yapped or gestured at the referee upon drawing a flag. 

“You play them even-up, boys, and this is going to be easier,” Elberty called out to his bench.

Hurricanes goaltender Chris Dorain was assessed a delay-of-game penalty when he threw the ball away from an official after disagreeing with a possession call. Sophomore midfielder Reece Thompson, who took three penalties, was irritated enough by the fourth quarter that while on the field, he began loudly jawing with a coach trying to give him instructions. 

Hartford goaltending coach Corey Holmes was lucky not to draw his own penalty after running onto the field to shout at the referees about a penalty with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Attackman Nick Dorain drew a slashing call for wielding his stick as if he was chopping wood while trying to dislodge the ball from an opponent on the ground.

“Penalties killed us,” said Hurricanes midfielder Ben Rouillard, who did not draw one. “We’re a football school with kids who like to hit, and our emotions got to us. We needed to take a step back and take a deep breath.”

Hartford (10-3) scored the second quarter’s only two goals to forge a 3-3 halftime tie. The Bears led, 6-5, after three frames and went up, 9-8, with only 8.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Colton Schaal coming off a pick and scoring low from inside the teeth of the defense. 

Amazingly, however, Thompson won the ensuing faceoff and his team called time out with 6.1 seconds to go. On the restart, the midfielder cut left past two defenders and went into his trademark, grass-scraping windup, whipping a low-to-high shot under the crossbar a split-second before an air horn sounded to mark the end of regulation time. 

The four-minute overtimes were emotionally excruciating and featured a combined six timeouts that heightened the tension. Chris Dorain twice denied the Bears on scoring chances and appeared not to see the winning shot until it had gone past him, a cruel ending to a night during which he made 11 saves.

Defenseman and senior classmate Matt Lucke recalled that Dorain volunteered to play goaltender two years ago when the program was without one.

“I couldn’t do what he does,” Lucke said. “I think he, like everyone on the field, left it all out there. We were a roll of the ball away from a different game.”

Hartford’s Andrew Daley had three goals, Thompson and Nick Dorain had two and Adam Parker and Lucke each had one. Parker and Patrick McGlone each had assists.

Notes: Olson said he downed three Red Bull energy drinks before the game, presumably contributing to his vomiting during intermission. The former Woodstock youth lacrosse player is scheduled to land today in Whistler, British Columbia, where he will practice skiing on a glacier. … Stratton Mountain freshman Tyler Frenchman is also a Woodstock resident… Lucke said he’s headed to Iowa State to study engineering and hopes to play club lacrosse there. … Hurricanes assistant coach Nick Porter had hoped to add an 11th state championship ring to the 10 he’s earned while with the football staffs at Hanover and Hartford. … Onetime Hurricanes player Taylor Thompson kept the scorebook for his old team. … Former Hurricanes goaltender and assistant coach Sam Polas attended the game. He recently finished a season helping the coaching staff at his alma mater, Castleton University and is trying to decide among chances to continue in that vein next season. Polas said he might wind up as an assistant at New York’s Hartwick College or Maryland’s Mount St. Mary’s University or as the head man at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. … Hartford ninth-grader Emma Farnsworth sang the national anthem.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.


Nick Dorain, a senior attackman for the Hartford High lacrosse team, scored twice in Thursday’s Vermont Division III title game. He was misidentified in an earlier version of this story.