TIGER SENIOR SARA Boe scores the first goal of the state championship game vs. Burr & Burton on Wednesday evening at UVM. MUHS won the game, 2-1. Independent photo/Trent Campbell
The Middlebury Union High School girls’ hockey team claimed the program’s first state championship on Wednesday night at the University of Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse.
But it wasn’t easy. The 19-3-1, top-seeded Tigers had to weather a third-period storm in which they were outshot by 13-1 and played shorthanded for seven minutes to edge No. 2 Burr & Burton, 2-1, for the Division II crown.
Junior goalie Baily Ryan stopped all 13 of those shots and 24 in all to backbone the win, and senior forward Sara Boe put two pucks past Bulldog goalie Kaylie Benson, who made 12 saves.
Boe opened the scoring at 5:24 of the first period by backhanding home the rebound of a shot by junior Alli White from the right-wing circle. The Bulldogs equalized 2:17 later by capitalizing on the first of their four power plays (to none for the Tigers). Ryder Ferrone found the upper right corner from the high slot.
Boe scored the only goal in the second period, sliding a 10-foot shot into the lower left corner after senior Timi Carone won a faceoff in the left circle to sister Julia Carone, who sent the puck to Boe outside the crease.
Shots after the first two periods favored the Tigers, 13-12, and chances were roughly even. But thanks in part to three penalties whistled on the Tigers in the third, the Bulldogs pressured them relentlessly for most of the period. In addition to those six minutes shorthanded, Burr & Burton pulled Jansen for an extra skater in the final 1:03.
But Ryan and defenders Paige Viens, Molly Wetmore, Tajah Marsden and Lauren Bartlett, with help from the checking of Sara Kelley, Boe, and Julia, Timi and Angela Carone as time wound down, held off the 17-4-2 Bulldogs for the victory – and the title.
A complete report on the game will appear in Monday’s Independent. It will feature photos by Trent Campbell and comments from Boe, Timi Carone and Viens, the senior captains; and co-coaches Tim Howlett and Matt Brush.