CVUs Bonneau helps Vt. girls to hockey victory (7/2/09)

July 2, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Former Champlain Valley Union High goalie Nicole Bonneau had more than 2,000 saves in her four-year stint in the nets for the Redhawks’ girls ice hockey team. On Saturday, the recent graduate added six more stops in helping the Vermont stars to a 3-1 victory over New Hampshire in the 12th annual Make-A-Wish Girls All-Star Hockey Classic at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Bonneau, the lone Redhawk chosen for the game between graduated seniors, was between the pipes for the first half of the game and left with the two teams in a scoreless deadlock midway through the second period. She was replaced by Claire Francis of Stowe, who finished up.

“It was exciting,” a smiling Bonneau said after the game. She noted that the plan was to share game time with Francis.

In the first period, Bonneau stopped a one-on-one rush, preventing New Hampshire from getting the game’s vital initial goal.

Vermont took a 1-0 lead midway in the second period when Lauren Cabanaw of Essex popped in the rebound from a hard shot by Burlington’s Maggie DiMasi.

New Hampshire tied the game for just a brief time at 7:57 of the third period on a power play score by Nadine Cunningham.

Hanna Martini of Harwood Union then took over for Vermont, snapping home a wrist shot at 7:38 to put the Green Mountaineers up 2-1.

With just 37 seconds remaining, Martina fed a pass to Kelly Whitcomb of U-32, who expertly nailed the game clincher.

This fall Bonneau will swap the CVU red and white colors for those of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., where she hopes to again be a last line of defense.

Vermont’s victory gave the state’s stars a 5-4-3 lead in the overall series.