Local roundup: Hurricanes unleash a late-game storm surge

Staff Reports

Published: 02-21-2023 8:56 PM

ESSEX, Vt. — There are quick-strike offenses, and then there’s what Hartford High’s boys hockey team unleashed on top-ranked Mount Mansfield during a 5-1 Vermont Division II victory on Monday night at the Essex Skating Facility.

Tied 1-1 with seven minutes to play, the Hurricanes moved ahead when Lochlan Park fired in a slap shot from high in the offensive zone with Joseph Barwood and Logan Caffrey providing distractions near the crease.

Blaine Gour won the ensuing faceoff at center ice, sending wings Ozzy DeFelice and James McReynolds off to the races against a lone defender. The latter scored, and Gour again won the following faceoff and his flankers capitalized, this time on a McReynolds tally.

Three goals in 26 seconds. Game over.

“We showed our depth when our third line, which played consistently all night long, made it 5-1,” said Hartford coach Todd Bebeau, referring to a strike that came off a Jayden Poirier shot and following a Nate Clark pass.

Ezra Mock scored the visitors’ first goal during the first period, winning a faceoff and shooting in the same motion, the puck hitting the crossbar before entering the net. Caffrey and Barwood earned assists on Park’s tally, and Davey Bradley made 20 saves.

Hartford, which reached the division title game last winter, ends the regular season 16-3-0 and will be seeded third. Mount Mansfield (18-2-0) will occupy the draw’s top spot when the tournament field is announced later this week.

GIRLS HOCKEYWoodstock 4, Missisquoi 1

HIGHGATE CENTER, Vt. — The Wasps, defending Vermont Division II champions, received second-period goals from Isabel Konijnenberg and Lilly Gubbins and third-period tallies from Gubbins and Alexis Audsley to win their regular-season finale.

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Konijnenberg, Gubbins and Hannah Gubbins each had one assist and Meridian Bremel made 10 saves for Woodstock, which moved to 16-4-0 while dropping the Thunderbirds to 5-12-2, has won five of its last six games and will be the division’s top seed in the upcoming playoffs.

BOYS BASKETBALLHartford 58, Mount St. Joseph 53

RUTLAND — MSJ’s Owen Traynor scored 13 of his 26 points during the fourth quarter and pulled the hosts within two, helped by the Hurricanes’ managing to sink only 10 of 21 foul shots during the final stanza before Hartford secured the win.

Hartford coach Mike Gaudette credited his bigger players (Trombly, Tyburski, Zach Johnson and Ian Murphy) for helping hold MSJ’s imposing Dez Krakow to 20 points.

“As the game went on, our depth just wore him down,” said Gaudette, whose program has won 17 games in a season for the first time since 1939-40. “It came down to free throws at the end and getting some good stops on defense.”

Hartford (17-2) prevailed for its eighth consecutive victory behind 15 points by Christian Hathorn and 11 each from Brayden Trombly and Brody Tyburski. The latter two players combined for 17 rebounds.

The Hurricanes host undefeated Fair Haven on Thursday in the teams’ regular-season finale, with a Southern Vermont League title on the line. Gaudette said a victory would also clinch Vermont Division II’s fourth playoff position and give his team a shot at hosting two postseason games.

Windsor 72Woodstock 67

WOODSTOCK — Maison Fortin poured in 29 points and Corey Lockwood had 14 points as the Yellowjackets improved to 7-12 and dropped the Wasps to 5-13.

Declan McCullough had 33 points for the hosts, who watched Windsor make 24 of 30 attempts from the free-throw line.

Woodstock concludes the regular season by hosting Mount St. Joseph (10-7) on Tuesday; the Yellowjackets host the same opponent a night later.