Bumpy outings for girls hockey (1/14/10)

Jan. 14, 2010

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

After racking up seven straight victories to open the season, the Champlain Valley Union High girls hockey team has hit a rough patch in which it has won just once and tied once in the past four games.

The Redhawks nevertheless took a very respectable 8-2-1 mark into Wednesday night’s home contest with a tough Hartford High squad, a team they handled 5-2 earlier in the season in White River Junction. The game was scheduled for after press deadline.

CVU will then meet 2-8-1 Colchester High at 8:20 p.m. Saturday at Leddy Arena in Burlington before taking nearly a week off.

The latest outing was a 4-0 defeat Saturday at the Cairns Arena home ice, inflicted by a solid Spaulding High of Barre aggregation that lifted its season record to 9-1.

The Crimson Tide was able to pop four pucks into the net while the Redhawks were held off the scoreboard by Spaulding’s goalie, Gabbie Willey. The freshman blocked some 22 shots in notching the first shutout of the season over the usually potent Hawks offense.

Willey had seven saves in the first period when the Redhawks dominated territorial play, taking advantage of three Tide penalties. CVU’s Molly Howard and Sophia Steinhoff had sharp opportunities turned aside by Willey.

Spaulding’s Nicolette Gosselin got the game’s first score with 9:50 left in the second period, scoring from out of a crowd in front of CVU net minder Nicole Sisk (18 saves).

The Tide made it 2-0 just 16 seconds later. Lanky defenseman Hayley Arnold took the faceoff and skated deep into CVU territory before unleashing a hard, point blank shot into the cage.

The Redhawks got sustained offense early in the final reel, but Willey was sharp, cutting down angles and stopping multiple scoring tries by KK Logan, Howard, Steinhoff and Amanda Armell.

After surviving the CVU blitz, Spaulding add two more goals in the final eight minutes of the game.

“That is a good team,” CVU coach Tom Ryan said of Spaulding. “We played pretty well tonight but could not put the puck into the net.”

Last Wednesday, the Redhawks came back from St. Albans with a 4-all tie against Bellows Free Academy, thanks to Armell’s third period goal at 6:45 that forged the deadlock.

It was Armell’s second score of the game. Steinhoff (17th) and Howard (21st) also tallied for the Redhawks, who were outshot 32-19 by 6-2-3 BFA.