Jan. 28, 2010
By Mal Boright
After going 1-2-1 in their last four games, the Champlain Valley Union High boys hockey team needs to do some serious work to gain a top Division 1 playoff berth.
Two games this week could help the 8-4-1 Redhawks emerge from their slump: A road trip on Jan. 27 (played after press deadline) to Harwood Union High’s home ice, followed by an 8:30 p.m. Saturday home contest against Stowe High.
The latest loss was a 4-0 defeat to rival Essex High (12-2-1) at noon on Saturday at Cairns Arena. The Hornets, CVU’s foe in the last two Division 1 championship contests, evened the season series at a game apiece; CVU had triumphed 3-1 at Essex earlier this season.
The Hornets were all over CVU from the opening drop of the puck Saturday, outshooting the Redhawks 12-4 in the opening period and 12-5 in the second frame.
Still, Essex’s lone score into the final two minutes of the second reel were a J.T. Begnoche slapper from the point with 7:01 remaining in the first period. CVU net minder Mark Albertson appeared to get a piece of the shot but not enough to deflect it from the net.
CVU continued to hang around until Essex’s Kyle Peckham scored a power play goal with 1:42 left in the second and Kurt Simendinger followed 23 seconds later with another score to put the Hornets up 3-0.
Begnoche put a lid on the contest at 13:39 of the final period with a hard shot after a sortie down the right wing, his second score of the day.
The Hornets did not allow much in the way of open ice for the usually hard-charging Redhawks. Robbie Dobrowski got off some decent rushes but came up blank, snapping a nine-game goal-getting string.
Kyle Logan, J.P. Benoit and Nate Lacroix also had serious attacks ridden off by the heady Essex defenders before getting solid open opportunities on goalie Chase Congreves or seeing shots go just wide. Congreves made 18 stops.