By Mal Boright
December 12th, 2013
With a season-opening two victories under their belts, the Champlain Valley Union High boys’ hockey team will be on Burlington’s Leddy Arena ice Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. to face 2-0 Colchester High in the opening round of the annual Beech Tournament.
Consolation and championship games are set for Friday night.
Back-to-back contests proved no problem for the Redhawks this weekend as they scored wins over two Canadian teams, blanking Loyola of Montreal 3-0 Saturday evening and then clipping Lower Canada College 5-1 Sunday afternoon.
“We just kept working,” said veteran junior forward Hoyt McCuin after Sunday’s win, when asked if the two games in two days was a problem. The labor paid off.
Tied 1-1 after two periods, the Redhawks struck for three goals in the first four minutes of the final reel, proving their legs still had plenty of zip.
Will Bernicke knocked in two of those goals and assisted on a Patrick Pattison tally, which had opened the flurry just 52 seconds into the reel. Brendan Gannon assisted on Pattison’s goal and Bernicke’s first.
Freshman Thomas Samuelson, with an assist from Cam Rivard, finished the scoring with a minute and 45 seconds remaining. It was Samuelson’s second goal in two games.
Lower Canada College scored first, Alec Masciotra snapping a quick wrist shot past CVU goalie Greg Talbert after CVU failed to clear a loose puck from the zone. Just 2:35 had elapsed from the opening face off.
CVU tied it with 7:42 left in the period, Ryan Keelan popping the puck into the net on assists from Elliott Mitchell and captain Alex Bulla.
The Redhawks buzzed around the visitors’ cage much of the rest of the game. Lower Canada netminder Tyler Piechota came up with 28 stops. At the other end of the rink, Talbert had six saves.
In front of Talbert, Bulla, Dylan Shaefer, Oscar Kelly and Kaleb Godbout, among others, had solid defensive work.
CVU also successfully killed three penalties without allowing a serious threat.
CVU coach Mike Murray considered it a good effort.
“We were a little too fine with our shots at times,” he said, adding that can be fixed.
In the victory over Loyola, Talbert made 15 saves to earn the shutout, while Rivard and Bulla joined Samuelson in finding the back of the net.