Brattleboro forwards Emily LaClair (8) and Avery Hiner (12) head to the locker room at the end of the second period of their hockey game against Middlebury on Jan. 10 at Withington Rink. Middlebury scored seven goals in the second period on the way to a 10-0 victory.
Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Brattleboro forwards Emily LaClair (8) and Avery Hiner (12) head to the locker room at the end of the second period of their hockey game against Middlebury on Jan. 10 at Withington Rink. Middlebury scored seven goals in the second period on the way to a 10-0 victory.

Bears girls’ hockey team still searching for a win

It's no fun losing game after game, but the Brattleboro Bears girls' hockey team are not giving up.

In the Bears' defense, they are playing more experienced teams with more players. With the deck stacked that much against you, all that can be hoped for is to play competitively for as long as you are able and for the younger players to learn the lessons that need to be learned to become a better team in the future.

With just three seniors - forwards Greta Koenig, Lily Carignan, and Alex Gregory - on the roster, the Bears are a team that's already looking ahead to next season.

Against the Middlebury Tigers on Jan. 10 at Withington Rink, the Bears held the Tigers scoreless for the first nine minutes and played well. While Brattleboro had some trouble moving the puck out of their end of the ice, the Bears' defense was strong and goalie Nellie Sterling made several tough saves.

Then Middlebury broke through for a pair of goals, scored 17 seconds apart, by Lia Calzini late in the first period. The Tigers added seven more goals in the second period on the way to a 10-0 victory.

After the game, Brattleboro head coach Connor Little said those first nine minutes were "some of the best hockey we have played all season." Even though the Bears were trailing 2-0 heading into the second period, Little said he thought they had a chance to continue to play competitively.

Unfortunately, Little said, the Bears "weren't taking care of the little things," especially in the final 5:30 of the second period. In that span of time, the Tigers scored five goals, including a shorthanded goal. Everything the Bears were doing right at the start of the game, especially on defense, seemed to vanish.

With 12:50 left in the second period, Erin Mulcahy scored for the Tigers, and Calzini got her third goal of the night with 9:16 to play. Middlebury then took advantage of some mistakes by the Bears, and turned the game into a rout.

Lily Finn made it 5-0 with 5:26 left, and Sedona Carrara scored 16 seconds later for a 6-0 lead. Brattleboro killed off most of a power play late in the period after a Carignan penalty for crosschecking. The Bears then briefly had a 4-on-4 when Calzini picked up a penalty with 3:34 left, then had a 5-on-4 power play for 37 seconds when Carignan's penalty expired.

However, Quinn Doria scored a shorthanded goal with 1:53 remaining, and Julia Morrissey and Ireland Hanley both scored in the final 66 seconds for a 9-0 lead for the Tigers heading into the final period. Mulcahy closed the scoring with a goal with 10 minutes left in the game.

The Bears then suffered their eighth shutout of the season with an 8-0 loss to Burr & Burton on Jan. 13 at Withington Rink. Skylar Smith led the Bulldogs with two goals, and Kaelin Downey, Abby Kopeck, Katie Brownlee, Carmella Livingston, Elise Hornby, and Maisie Tuff also scored.

Now 0-10, the Bears' next game is on the road on Jan. 20 against Rice in South Burlington.

Girls' basketball

• Brattleboro turned back a late rally by the Mount Anthony Patriots and hung on for a 48-36 victory on Jan. 12 at the BUHS gym. Guard Reese Croutworst led the 5-4 Bears with 19 points.

• Bellows Falls took care of winless Green Mountain with a 43-22 win on Jan. 12 at Holland Gymnasium. Leading by seven at the half, the Terriers extended their lead to 11 at the end of the third quarter and held GM to just two points in the final quarter for the victory. Abby Nystrom and Laura Kamel had nine points each for the 5-4 Terriers, while 0-8 Green Mountain was led by Karen Vargas with 11 points.

• Leland & Gray put together one of its best efforts so far this season with a 63-32 win over Proctor on Jan. 12 in Townshend. The 4-7 Rebels led 37-13 at the half and did not allow the Phantoms to make a comeback in the second half.

• Twin Valley fell to 0-7 on the season after a 48-23 loss to Mount St. Joseph on Jan. 12 in Whitingham. MSJ led 22-6 at halftime as Lauryn Charron and Gabby Boudreau led the Mounties with 16 and 12 points, respectively.

Boys' basketball

• Brattleboro went up against the Champlain Valley Redhawks on Jan. 8 at the BUHS gym, and the defending Division I champions showed no mercy in an 85-29 victory over the Bears.

CVU opened with an 18-0 run, led 31-2 at the end of the first quarter, and had a 33-point lead at the half. Luke Eaton led the Redhawks with 23 points as 13 of the 15 players who dressed for the game scored. It was a rough night for the Bears, who got seven points from Jackson Emery and six points each from Karson Elliott and Dillon Jenks.

Against Monadnock Regional on Jan. 13 at the BUHS gym, Liam Hart hit a game winning three-pointer as time expired to give Monadnock a 53-51 victory. Keagan Systo led the 3-7 Bears with 22 points, four rebounds, and two steals.

• Springfield completed a season series sweep of Leland & Gray with a 64-56 win over the Rebels on Jan. 10 in Townshend. Oliver Kelly led the Cosmos with a career-high 22 points.

The Rebels then lost 78-31 to White River Valley on Jan. 13 in Townshend to drop their season record to 2-8.

• Bellows Falls is in a bit of a slump. On Jan. 11 in Manchester, the Terriers lost to Burr & Burton, 65-34. The BF swoon continued with a 60-56 loss to Springfield on Jan. 13 at Dressel Gymnasium.

James Gultekin scored 26 points and Mick Wiese added 12 points to lead the 4-5 Cosmos. Bellows Falls, now 5-5, got 19 points from Cole Moore, 17 points from Jaxon Clark, and 16 points from Colby Dearborn.

• Twin Valley was beaten by Green Mountain, 54-28, on Jan. 11 in Whitingham,

GM started hot with an 11-0 run and led 28-13 at the half. On defense, they held Twin Valley's Brayden Brown to just 10 points, with six coming in the final minute of the game with the outcome no longer in doubt. Austin Kubisek led Green Mountain with 19 points, while Wyatt Koch had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Twin Valley bounced back with a 58-54 win over Rivendell on Jan. 13 in Whitingham to improve their season record to 5-4.

Boys' hockey

• The Bears had a good week, playing Woodstock to a 4-4 tie on Jan. 10 at Withington Rink, and then defeating U-32, 3-1, on Jan. 13 in Montpelier.

In the U-32 win, Evan Wright and Carter Mialkowski both had a goal and an assist. Alex Dick also scored, and goaltender James Fagley made 21 saves for the victory. Maddox Heise scored U-32's only goal and goaltender Angus Kurts made 28 saves in the loss.

The 3-5-2 Bears host Stowe on Jan. 20 at Withington Rink.


• After the first three weeks of the season, Brattleboro is ranked fourth in the state. Essex and Randolph both have 36 points to top the standings, followed by Windsor with 32 points, and the Bears with 31 points.

Nordic skiing

• The Brattleboro boys finished third behind Woodstock and Mount Anthony in a Southern Vermont League meet on Jan. 8 at Prospect Mountain in Woodford. Burr & Burton was fourth and Rutland came in fifth.

With fresh snow from a storm the day before the meet, conditions on the course were not an issue. The Bears placed three boys in the top 10 as Willow Sharma (15 minutes, 30.6 seconds), Gabe Jeppesen-Belleci (15:50.2), and Nico Conathan-Leach (15:57.5) finished seventh, eighth, and ninth place, respectively.

Also finishing for the Bears were Oliver Herrick (13th, 17:27.6), Desmond Longsmith (20th,18:49.9), Eli Welch (31st, 21:37.8) and Galen Fogarty (34th, 24:12.8). Woodstock's James Underwood won the race in 14:26.3.

In the girls' meet, Brattleboro finished second with 44 points behind Woodstock's 22. Mount Anthony and Rutland did not have enough skiers to record a team score.

Katherine Normandeau placed fifth with a time of 19:13.4 to lead the Bratteboro girls, while teammate Maeve Bald took 10th in 20:58.9. Rounding out the scoring were Maayan Coleman (14th, 24:01.7), Addison DeVault (15th, 24:45.6) and Evie Kiehle (17th, 30.09.1). MAU's Tanis White won the race in 17:43.8.

Youth Nordic skiing program begins in Marlboro

• Looking for a fun winter activity for your kids? There's still room in the Youth Ski Program at the Marlboro Nordic Ski Club, located on the former Marlboro College campus.

Led by experienced and enthusiastic instructors, this program is open to grades K-8 and is free of charge - the only requirement is that families become members of the ski club. Kids will learn to cross-country ski, play games, make new friends, and enjoy the outdoors. Find out more at

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 2 of the winter/spring season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Jan. 11 saw Good Times (9-1) having a 5-0 week to take sole possession of first place. Stepping Stones II (7-3) is second, followed by Four Seasons and High Rollers (both 6-4), Stayin' Alive and Slow Movers (both 4-6), and Hairiers (3-7), and Four Pins (1-9).

Debbi Rittenhour again had the women's high handicap game (262) and series (721). Marty Adams had the men's high handicap game (262), while Fred Ashworth had the high handicap series (698). Four Seasons had the high team handicap game (944), while Good Times had the high team series (2,638).

Robert Rigby had the men's high scratch series (647) with games of 246 and 219. John Walker had a 626 series with games of 214, 211, and 201. Peter Deyo had a 584 series with games of 219 and 203, Ashworth had a 575 series with games of 212 and 193, Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 551 series with a 216 game, Montgomery had a 551 series with a 216 game, and Adams had a 548 series with a 225 game.

Carol Gloski had the women's high scratch series (471), with a 161 game, while Debbie Kolpa had the high scratch game (202), and Nancy Dalzell had a 180 game.

Randolph T. Holhut, deputy editor of this newspaper, has written this column since 2010 and has covered sports in Windham County since the 1980s. Readers can send him sports information at [email protected].

This Sports column by Randolph T. Holhut was written for The Commons.

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