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Stowe ousts Tiger boys’ hockey from playoffs

STOWE — The No. 6 Middlebury Union High School boys’ hockey team suffered a season-ending 2-0 defeat to host No. 3 Stowe on Saturday night in a Division I quarterfinal. The Tigers finished at 11-9-1.
The game was tight from the start, with shots even in the first period. Both teams trading opportunities and penalties back and forth for a scoreless opening 15 minutes.
Stowe (16-3-2) came out with more energy in the second, and the Tigers spent most of the period in their defensive zone, where sophomore goalie Jeffrey Stearns (27 saves) turned away shot after shot. The Tigers created a handful of opportunities, but all were shut down by the Raider defense, and the game was still scoreless going into the third.
The final 15 minutes proved to be decisive. The first half of the period was tight, with the two teams trading chances. Then, with 6:50 remaining in the game, Stowe’s Alex Carpenter ended up beside the net with the puck on his stick. He slid it across to Max Carr on the far post, where Carr buried the puck to put the Raiders into the lead for good.
The Tigers answered with high energy and dangerous chances. A Stowe penalty with 45 seconds remaining gave the Tigers a six-on-four opportunity with Stearns pulled. They almost capitalized, but Raider goalie Kristian Viljanen (26 saves) stood strong.
With nine seconds remaining, the Raider defense cleared the puck, and Carpenter chased it down and slid it into the Tiger open net to seal a 2-0 victory for Stowe.
The Raiders advanced to face host No. 2 Essex (17-3) in the semifinal round.

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