2 BHA teams compete in Green Mountain Tourney

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BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Hockey Association (BHA) entered teams in both divisions of the 2017 Green Mountain Girls Hockey Tournament. Initially expecting to enter players in only the U-12 division (players ages 12 and under), an additional team was brought together to play at the U-14 division as well. Both Hawks teams showed grit and skated hard as they played three tournament games apiece.

A last-minute cancellation by an out of state team allowed BHA Girls coaches Elizabeth McLarney, Gordon Little and Rod Inman to improvise in order to fill out a U-14 roster for Friday night's contest, which included Jenna Powers of Putney and Keene's Nelly Tattersall, both former BHA players who have been playing with the New England Wildcats of the New England Girls Hockey League (NEGHL) this season.

With games in the first two Friday night tournament slots at the Nelson Withington Arena, the Brattleboro U-12 and U-14 squads ran into strong teams at both levels. The U-12 Hawks took on Simsbury, Conn., who proved to be runners-up in their division. The U-14 Hawks drew the Connecticut Ice Cats, who went on to claim their bracket's title. While both Hawks teams skated with their competition, neither squad was able to put the puck in the back of the net against the visitors, losing 6-0 and 5-0 respectively. Coach McLarney, speaking at the tournament's conclusion, was not disappointed.

"When you consider that the Ice Cats took the Green Mountain title game, you get perspective on the kind of effort our girls gave on Friday night," she said.

On Saturday morning, the U-14 Hawks took on Simsbury's U-14 team. Unable to get their offense going in this contest, they fell 6-0. However, in the very next game slot, the Brattleboro Hawks U-12 team skated to a 3-3 tie with the Lady Lions of Ridgefield, Conn.

According to coach McClarney, "This was another indication of how much work this group of players is willing to put into the game. Our defensive corps was strong and Angela Jobin stood tall in the nets. Another great showing and team effort."

Both Brattleboro girls teams found themselves at the Withington Rink for morning games in the final round of this year's Green Mountain Hockey Tournament. The U-12 Hawks took on Ridgefield, prevailing by a 5-2 score. Lauren Carpenter got the Hawks going, scoring the first of her two goals in this game. Willow Romo also split the posts for Brattleboro. After Carpenter potted her second goal of the game, Julianna Miskovich went off, and scored two goals to secure the Hawks' victory.

As soon as they made it through the handshake line, several U-12 Hawks returned to the bench and went on to compete with U-14s against the Stoneham Blues in the very next game slot. The back and forth game saw the Hawks jump out to a 1-0 lead on Julianna Miskovich's first U-14 goal of the tournament (third goal of the morning). In the second period, with the game tied at 1-1 Willow Romo pushed one past the Stoneham goalie, putting Brattleboro up 2-1. But Stoneham came right back again, knotting the game at 2-2. The game remained tied until midway through the third when Lauren Carpenter labeled one into the Stoneham net giving the Hawks a 3-2 edge. Stoneham would not quit and was able to put pressure on the Brattleboro net. As the clock ticked down, the Blues' forwards were able to one pop the puck over Brattleboro goaltender Jade Bruneau for the 3-3 equalizer, which is how the game ended.

"It wasn't what we would have asked for," coach McLarney said, "but working the tie after the win in back-to-back games is not a small accomplishment with competition like this."

Later on Sunday afternoon, the U-12 Panthers were able to hold back the Simsbury Lady Lions and secure the 12 and Under Green Mountain Girls Hockey Tournament title. The weekend of exciting girls' youth hockey concluded with the 28th game of the tournament as the Connecticut Ice Cats faced the Western Mass Blizzard in the U-14 championship. With Brattleboro's Suzanna Toledo Cornman, another BHA alumna, on the Blizzard's roster, there was a local rooting attraction but the Ice Cats prevailed 4-1 to claim this year's U-14 crown.

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