Final skate on Saturday for some CVU hockey stars (6/25/09)

June 25, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Six graduated Champlain Valley Union High hockey players will lace up the skates for the final time in high school related competition on Saturday in the Annual Make-A-Wish All-Star Hockey Classic at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse.


    File photo
Brady DeHayes a recent graduate of Champlain Valley Union High School, skates past Essex forward Stevie Mone during the Division 1 hockey championship on Feb. 28. DeHayes and five of his teammates will play in the Annual Make-A-Wish All-Star Hockey Classic on Saturday. Nicole Bonneau, the goalie of CVU’s girls hockey team, will play for Vermont’s girls team in the game against New Hampshire.

Goalie Nicole Bonneau will spend time between the pipes for her Vermont team, which will meet its New Hampshire counterparts at 4 p.m.

For the boys, it will be the Final Fire-up of the Finesse Five plus one when Vermont and New Hampshire stars collide at 6:30 p.m. in the second game of the galaxy twin bill.

Representing CVU are five members of the Division 1 champions. They include Brady DeHayes, Chris Howard, Tim Reichert, Owen Smith and Ben Soll.

The additional one is veteran CVU co-coach Will MacKinnon, who is leaving his CVU post. MacKinnon and co-coach Doug Hopper will be behind the bench for the Vermont squad. Hopper will return to the CVU helm this winter.

MacKinnon, a hockey star at the University of Vermont in the 1970s, played two years in Europe after graduation and coached two years at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans on his return to the United States.

He and Hopper have been running the CVU program for the past four years.

“It is time,” MacKinnon said this week. “It is never a good time when you like what you are doing, but I have been coaching for more than 30 years.”

MacKinnon will be the decision maker for the Saturday contest.

“All teams (from) Vermont and New Hampshire have been good over the years,” Hopper said in looking ahead to Saturday’s contest. “But I think we have a decent team.”

There will be two practices Friday and another Saturday morning before the puck drops Saturday evening.

“These are all seniors,” Hopper said, adding that they should know the basics. “My biggest concern is in how much have they been skating.”

DeHayes and Reichert will be on the offensive lines, while Smith and Howard will form one defensive duo. Soll will also be back on the blue line.

Bonneau earned the all-star honor after four years in the CVU goal. Over that time she was credited with more than 2,000 saves, which constitutes more rubber than can be found in a tire factory.

Game tickets will be available at the field house on game day. Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for students.