By Mal Boright
For the fourth straight year, the CSB (Champlain South Burlington) Cup resides in South Burlington.
The Champlain Union High boys’ hockey team, after a 5-3 loss to South Burlington High Saturday in the annual battle for the cup, had seven days to regroup for Saturday’s trip to the Jay Peak Ice Haus Arena and a decent North Country Union High sextet.
It was the first loss of the season for the shorthanded Redhawks, who had twice knocked off the 9-7 Rebels in earlier confrontations. The 14-1-1 Red and White had a 1-1 deadlock with Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans.
CVU coach Mike Murray was unruffled by the departure of his team from the ranks of the undefeated.
“Once we had that tie at St. Albans, it did not mean as much,” Murray said after the game.
The coach was more interested in how the Redhawks, trailing 5-0 after two periods, scored two quick goals in the early moments of the final reel and made a contest of it.
“We were feeling sorry for ourselves for a while,” Murray said of the second period when the Rebels, midway into the stanza and locked in a scoreless tie, tallied twice in 15 seconds, leaving the ‘Hawks thunderstruck.
South Burlington added three more scores before the end of the period and a rout was on.
Except it wasn’t once the third period got underway.
A CVU penalty was just ending when Ryan Keelan bagged CVU’s first goal after a hard charge up ice with about a minute gone in the period.
Some 28 second later, Brendan Gannon got a terrific set up pass and beat South Burlington goalie Ben Greenstein and suddenly it was the Rebels who were back on their heels.
Greenstein made a scintillating stop on CVU’s Thomas Samuelsen with three minutes and six second remaining as the Rebs took a penalty.
Defenseman Drew Pitcher got the Redhawks’ final score with 1:33 remaining. A later goal at 36 seconds was disallowed.
Matt Baechle zipped home three of South Burlington’s goals while Gabe Simpatico—the snapper of the 0-0 tie—and Brendan Lahue had the others.
CVU goalie Greg Talbert was touched up for more than two goals for the first time this season. He was a busy dude, especially in the first two periods when he made 21 of his 25 saves against the rampaging Rebs. Greenstein had 13 stops.
The Redhawks were without four players, three due to team and school rule infractions.
The fourth, Dylan Schaefer, was out of state for a lacrosse program.