Brattleboro gave up five unanswered goals against Woodstock in the first period, then scored five unanswered goals in the second period before the Colonels ultimately came up short against the Wasps in a 7-6 loss at Withington Rink on Dec. 17.
This was a game of surges. Woodstock outshot Brattleboro, 15-2, in the opening period as they took a 5-0 lead. Brendan McCarthy scored just two minutes into the game, then his brother Connor scored three goals over a span of six minutes and assisted on another goal in the final three minutes.
It wouldn’t have been a shock if Brattleboro threw in the towel at this point. After all, a five-goal deficit is tough to overcome. But the Colonels did it.
Dan McMahon started the rally with a power play goal five minutes into the second period. Brattleboro then exploded for four more goals in the final five minutes of the period. Evan Perkins scored at even-strength. Braxton Lynn followed with a power play goal, then scored on breakaway set up by Jon Curtis. John Peloso finished the scoring to make it 5-5 at the end of the period.
After two periods like that, would either team have anything left? As it turned out, both teams had plenty in the tank. Connor McCarthy scored again on a power play with 10:12 left to put the Wasps in front, but Cooper Turner-Renaud responded with a goal set up by Cam Pelkey with 8:56 left to re-tie the game.
But there was still one more act in the Connor McCarthy show. Brattleboro got another power play, but McCarthy pounced on a turnover and scored a shorthanded goal with 6:44 remaining. Despite being shorthanded on a five-minute major penalty at the end of the game, Woodstock killed off that penalty and won one of the wildest games in recent memory at Withington Rink.
• After crushing Black River in their home opener, Twin Valley got another opportunity to administer a beatdown to the Presidents at the Bob Abrahamson Tip-Off Classic in Proctor on Dec. 14.
The Wildcats barely broke a sweat in a 97-35 win. They led 28-4 after one quarter and scored another 28 points in the final quarter. All 12 Twin Valley players scored, led by Sam Molner’s 15 points, Kyle Murdock’s 14, and DJ Lazelle’s 13.
In the tourney’s championship game against Proctor the following night, Twin Valley won, 66-45. Again, it was a balanced scoring attack for the Wildcats with Justin Hicks as the high scorer with 14. All but one of the Twin Valley players scored.
• Bellows Falls had a chance to win, but it was Springfield’s Ed Shambo who came up big in the final minutes for a 34-32 win on Dec. 16 at Dressel Gym. Shambo scored the tying basket, then stole the ball and got it to Mike Messer for a lay-up with less than two minutes to play.
Jake Mead tied it for BF with 43 seconds to play, but Springfield’s Justin Gomez responded with what turned out to be the winning basket just seconds later. Shorthanded BF was led by Cameron Joy with points, while Rivers was the Cosmos’ top scorer with 13.
Three nights later in Windsor, the Terriers lost to the Yellowjackets. 86-48, to fall to 0-2.
• Connor Fegard scored a game-high 22 points to lead Woodstock over visiting Leland & Gray, 66-34, on Dec. 17. Owynn White led the 0-3 Rebels with nine points.
• Brattleboro suffered a 56-50 loss to St. Johnsbury at the BUHS gym on Dec. 18.
• Brattleboro played a solid defensive game against Drury in North Adams, Mass., on Dec. 15, and got just enough offense to beat them, 36-19.
After clinging to a 15-13 lead at the half, the Colonels outscored Drury 21-6 in the second half. Maddie Derosia led Brattleboro with 15 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, as well as five rebounds and four steals. Taylor Bird added eight points and eight rebounds, and Gabriel Carpenter had a team-high 11 rebounds.
• Teya Johnson and Kirra Courchesne combined for nine blocked shots as Twin Valley shut down Poultney in the second half on the way to a 60-27 road win on Dec. 15.
Freshman wing guard Taylor Courchesne paced the winners with 16 points, four rebounds and four steals. Colton Butler and Johnson each followed with 13 points, while Kendell Howe chipped in with eight points and seven boards.
The 3-1 Wildcats will compete in the Green Mountain Holiday Tournament on Friday, when they will face South Royalton in Round 1 at 6 p.m. MSJ and Springfield will square off in the other side of the bracket. The host Chieftains do not have a varsity team this season.
• Leland & Gray lost a 27-24 squeaker to Otter Valley on Dec. 15. The Otters’ defense held the Rebels to just three points in the final quarter to win it. It was the fourth consecutive loss for the Rebels to start the season.
• Molly Dufault led the way with 16 points and 13 rebounds as Bellows Falls beat Woodstock, 41-38, on Dec. 16. Teammate Chelsea Wilder finished with a game-high 17 points.
Dana named to U.S. Paralympics Team
• U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, recently announced that Alicia Dana of Putney is one of nine athletes named to the 2015 U.S. Paralympics Cycling National A Team.
Dana is the reigning world champion, and part of the successful 2014 season that saw the U.S. team win the overall and the gold medal count with 18 medals at the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, S.C.
Team USA begins the 2015 season at the U.S. Paralympics Track Cycling Open on Feb. 7-8 at the Velo Center in Carson, Calif.
Take a hike!
• If you are looking for a different way to start the new year, take a ride out to Molly Stark State Park in Wilmington to a New Year’s Day hike at 10 a.m. You don’t need to pre-register, just show up.
Professional guides and outdoor educators will lead the way, sharing their knowledge and love of the Vermont outdoors. Meet at the cul de sac across the street from the park entrance on Route 9. The two-hour hike involves moderate terrain on park roads and trails following the ridge to Hogback Mountain.
The hike is part of a initiative by the Vermont State Parks to get people to out to see their state parks in winter. If you go, dress for the weather; bring snowshoes if there is a lot of snow. Bring some beverages and snacks. Dogs are welcome, if they’re on a leash.
To check the status of the Molly Stark hike, call 802-249-1230. Update messages will be posted on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 at www.vtstateparks.com and their Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Don’t need a guide? Then get outside at the state park or forest of your choice. Jamaica State Park, for example, is great place for nordic skiing or snowshoeing on the West River Trail that winds through the park. Entry is free to state parks during the winter.