By Mal Boright
January 16th, 2014
A challenging section of their schedule winds up Saturday when the Champlain Valley Union High-South Burlington High girls hockey team is host to a tough 7-1-2 Essex High combine at Cairns Arena. Opening face off is set for 12:15 p.m.
The Reb-Hawks will be out to snap a losing string that climbed to three last Saturday, the result of a 4-1 loss to visiting 4-4 Rutland High.
This coming Wednesday, the Red and Pale Blue clads will travel to Barre for a second go at Spaulding High (5:30 p.m.), a team they handled 7-3 in mid-December at Cairns.
The Reb-Hawks ruled the first period against Rutland and took a 1-0 lead into the intermission on a Courtney Barrett goal, her forth in two games. Molly Dunphy and Rachel Stone assisted on the tally that came out of a scrum in front of the Red Raider net.
Rutland opened the second period with a score in the first minute and thirty seconds, Kristina Bellomo lifting the puck past Reb-Hawk netminder Courtney Peyko (17 saves) for the first of her three-goal hat trick.
After Rutland took the lead on Courtney Casey’s goal with a mere 1.9 seconds before the second period-ending buzzer, Bellomo put the game away late on a breakaway score with 3:22 left in the third period and then an empty net goal with 48.5 seconds remaining.
Position play was fairly even as CVU-SB missed some opportunities. Dunphy and Barrett were both denied by Raider goalie Kelsey Eddy.
Making offensive work especially challenging for the Red-Hawks was Rutland’s cluster defense that kept a crowd of defenders around its cage when CVU-SB would come calling.
Sophomore Casey Johnson had a solid day, leading the Reb-Hawk defense, including a first-period penalty-killing session that held the Raiders to but a harmless long-distance shot on Peyko.