The 2012-2013 Champlain Valley Union High boys’ hockey team began the season in the rugged Metro Division 1 campaign with four seniors aided and abetted by tender youth.
Now, after playing their way to a 15-5-3 record and a charge into the Division 1 championship contest—where top-seeded 21-2 South Burlington scored a 4-2 victory in a solid contest—the Redhawks have good reason to be optimistic for the coming year.
In last Wednesday’s title contest, the Rebels captured their first Division 1 crown and second triumph in a fortnight over CVU. South Burlington blanked the Hawks 3-0 in the annual CSB Cup—the two teams come out of the same youth program—at Cairns Arena.
Thus, the contests in which the two teams meet could be named Buddy Bowls. As is well known and proven by Rebels and Hawks, friends can be the toughest competitors against each other.
CVU, coming off a 3-0 semifinal victory at second-seeded Essex, took a 2-2 deadlock into the third period. The Rebels’ Matt Baechle broke the tie with nine minutes and seven seconds gone and then assisted teammate Gabe Simpatico’s empty net tally with 31 seconds remaining.
South Burlington scored the first goal, just under eight minutes into the initial reel.
Kirk Fontana, from Hoyt McCuin and Bendan Gannon, tied it with 2:17 elapsed in the second stanza. The Rebs’ Connor O’Toole launched a power play goal with 11:45 gone in the second period to put SBHS up 2-1.
CVU’s Jake Garrett tied the game a little more than two minutes into the closing canto, assists going to the Keelan brothers, Ryan and Pat.
McCuin took a cut on the forehead in the first period, but soldiered on after getting treatment from Redhawks’ trainer Tony Lora.
Greg Talbert, in the CVU net, made 18 saves while the Rebels’ David Streeter had 17.
Defenseman and CVU captain Alex Bulla gave up his body to block SBHS shots on three occasions, while Gannon had a pair of blocks.
Each team had just one penalty.
The game drew a crowd of 3,902.
—Mal Boright, Observer correspondent