July 18th, 2013
By Mal Boright
The on-ice play was there for the Vermont team.
But the final score showed New Hampshire with four goals, the Green Mountain contingent with none. Zero, zip.
The action took place Saturday in the annual Make-A-Wish All-Star hockey classic between graduated high school seniors from the two states at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Field House.
Champlain Valley Union High contributed head coach Mike Murray and assistant Matt Hopper, along with forwards Kirk Fontana and Patrick Keelan to the Vermont effort, which saw the guys in green outshoot the opposition 36-15, including 28-11 in the first two periods, which ended with the Granite State holding on to a precarious 1-0 lead.
The pucks zipping around and over the New Hampshire cage brought oohs and ahs from the Vermont supporters in the crowd, a bit shy of 1,000. South Burlington’s Tommy Royer was denied a great opportunity to tie the game in the opening minute of the third period when his breakaway shot pinged off the cross bar.
Murray told the media after the game that he didn’t think one of his teams had ever outshot a foe by that great a margin and lost 4-0.
New Hampshire, in lifting its series edge to 13-7-1, scored on a rebound with eight minutes and 53 seconds remaining in the first period and then clung to the lead until slapping home three scores in the game’s closing nine minutes.
Fontana was a threat for Vermont, getting off three shots, including a point-blank blast in the second period, only to be rejected.
Keelan spent time on the N.H. net doorstep but the puck did not come his way via pass or rebound.
Vermont’s girls won the opening game of the charity twin bill, 4-0. The win gives the home staters an 8-5-3 series lead.