The D1 playdown featured plenty of great hockey, but no big surprises as #1 Rice Memorial will play #2 Essex for a state title. The game is scheduled for Friday night at UVM’s Gutterson Field House.
BFA–St Albans exited the tournament after a tough semi-final loss to Essex. This game would be the last for coach Toby Ducolon, and the Bobwhites put on quite a show in front of their home crowd in St Albans, scoring just 1:11 into the game and taking a 3-1 lead into the second period. The night belonged to Tobey Cram, who scored two almost identical slap shot goals in the second to even things up. In a penalty-filled third period, Andrew Forcier stuffed in a game-winning rebound, Cram completed a hat trick while shorthanded, and Max Foster stood tall in net for the 5-3 win. Essex had beaten Spaulding by only one goal to advance to this semi-final game.
Rice will enter the state final a much less tested team, after beating Rutland 8-3 and Colchester 4-2. Rice goalie Andrew Libby faced just 10 shots from Rutland and 18 shots from Colchester. Their last game against Essex ended in a 1-1 draw so this final game should be a treat for hockey fans.
** written by Steve Fortmann