Jan. 13, 2011By Mal Boright Observer correspondent
Coach Mike Murray’s Champlain Valley Union High boys hockey team took a spotless 7-0 mark into Wednesday’s contest against Rutland High at Cairns Arena.
The game, scheduled for after press deadline, was the Redhawks’ first meeting of the season with the Red Raiders.
CVU will then tangle with South Burlington High at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Cairns in the final non-league contest of the campaign.
League or non-league does not make much difference to Murray, who pointed out Saturday that all games count toward the seedings for postseason play.
Last week the Redhawks looked good, at least in this early season, with a 6-0 triumph Saturday over Harwood Union High (5-2) and last Wednesday’s 3-2 nipping of defending Division 1 champ Spaulding High of Barre (3-2-1). The two notable wins took place at the friendly confines of Cairns.
In the two games, standout scorer Robbie Dobrowski proved both a finisher and a beginner for CVU.
The senior sniper closed out Spaulding by breaking a 2-2 deadlock with just 33 seconds remaining in regulation. Derek Goodwin and Kyle Logan drew assists.
Dobrowski then ignited the Redhawks against the invading Highlanders on Saturday by finding the net with just 18 seconds elapsed in the first period. Line mates Goodwin and Logan again assisted.
The quick score, plus a five-minute major penalty before the opening minute had expired, spelled doom for the visitors. Freshman Alex Bulla knocked in a goal from the point during the power play to put CVU up 2-0.
Shortly after the penalty was over, Dobrowski made a classic end-to-end sortie only to have the puck wind up on Goodwin’s stick. He immediately planted it past Harwood net minder Jeff Evans-Mongeon, who had 29 saves.
Dobrowski scored in the second period on a slick assist by Logan, who added two third period tallies on assists from Dobrowski.
CVU’s junior net minder Jason O’Brien collected his second shutout and had some tense and busy moments in making 25 stops.
He was especially challenged in the closing minutes of the first period and made six saves during a three-minute stretch, part of which CVU was two players down due to penalties.
O’Brien had 26 blocks in the victory over the Crimson Tide last Wednesday as Spaulding held a 28-20 edge in shots on goal.
Jeffrey Thompson and J.P. Benoit also had lamplighters for the Redhawks, with Matt Hopper earning a pair of assists.