BFA-St. Albans is back on top. For the first time in three years, the team has reached the mountaintop of the Division 1 Vermont High School boys hockey world.
BFA, the No. 2 seed, beat No. 4 Stowe, 4-1, in the Division 1 state championship game at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Sure, three years is not a long time, but when you’ve now won 19 state championships in the Green Mountain State, it can seem like an eternity.
So here the Bobwhites are, state champs once again.
“Our team’s effort and execution the last two weeks have been outstanding, led by senior leadership,” BFA St. Albans coach Toby Ducolon said.
BFA-St. Albans (19-4-0) scored 20 seconds into the game and never looked back. Caden Hart had that goal, and he added two more for the hat trick at the most opportune of times.
Stowe (15-8) trailed by four goals in the middle of the game and never got things rolling to spearhead a comeback.
Matt Merrill scored a few minutes after Hart’s shell-shocking initial goal. Colin Audy earned the assist on that one.
It remained 2-0 after one, but Hart got things going early in the middle period. His second goal came 3:38 in, with Parker Gratton earning the helper on this one.
Stowe goalie Ethan Brown had 16 saves but was outdueled by BFA’s Dan Ellis, who stopped 25 shots as Stowe desperately tried to claw back into the game. It’s the second state title for Ellis, who starts and finishes his career with state championships.
BFA’s defense and Ellis went into shutdown mode after that and killed three power-plays.
“The seniors turned it up a notch in the championship game and younger players followed perfectly,” Ducolon said. “This team was all about team. Hard-working, consistent, composed, willing to do little things to win battles.”