By Mal Boright
Tuesday night the Redhawks were flying.
The Champlain Valley Union High boys’ hockey team became the Scurrying Scooters as it sped past Rutland High 6-1 at Cairns Arena to gain the Division 1 semifinals against either seventh-seeded Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans (10-9-2) or second-seeded Essex High (16-2-2).
BFA and the Hornets played Wednesday night in Essex, after the Observer’s press deadline.
The Redhawks are 1-0-1 with BFA and 0-1-1 with Essex.
CVU coach Mike Murray said the quarterfinal between the two could be a close one with BFA playing well in recent weeks and Essex always strong.
A BFA win would bring the Bobwhites to CVU’s ice, while an Essex triumph would mean a trip to the Hornets’ nest. The date is to be announced, but the thinking at Cairns Tuesday was the game will be played Saturday.
“We thought we could outskate Rutland with our speed,” said Murray when asked after the victory if the game plan was to simply turn on the jets.
It was Swift City at the Rutland end of the ice as wave after wave of speedy Redhawks broke in on the Raider net, firing some 27 shots while lighting the lamp on six.
Patrick Pattison fired two goals and added an assist. Also scoring were Pat Keelan, brother Ryan, Brendan Gannon and Jack Hall.
The contest started out as a battle of power plays. Rutland got a man advantage with just over five minutes gone in the first period and quickly scored when Maxwell Major slapped in a shot off the faceoff near the CVU cage.
Less than two minutes later, CVU got its own power play and Pattison launched his first score from out of a crowd in front of the Rutland net, Kirk Fontana getting the assist.
Just over a minute later, Pat Keelan picked up a loose puck and went in alone on Rutland goalie Jason MacFarlane to put CVU up for good, 2-1.
Gannon added a breakaway score before the end of the period and the Redhawks then sped around for three more tallies in the second period to ice matters.
CVU netminder Greg Talbert had 18 stops while the Hawks took 27 shots on the Raiders’ MacFarlane.