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Vermont State Championships: Essex (D1), Woodstock (D2) Defend Crowns

Make that a double. Both Essex (Division One) and Woodstock (Division Two) repeated as Vermont State Champions on Wednesday, March 13 at The University of Vermont’s Gutterson Fieldhouse.

DIVISION ONE

No. 1 Essex 5, No. 6 Rice Memorial 0

A five-point performance by senior Grady Cram – the first in championship game history in 33 years – drove the Hornets (18-3-2) past the upstart Green Giants (9-11-2) for the program’s 16th overall championship.

Second-year coach Chris Line’s squad defeated Spaulding by the same score in 2018 and the Hornets repeated for the first time since winning three consecutive titles from 2006-08.

Following a scoreless first period, Cram set up second-period strikes by Jonah Janaro, Iam Amaliksen and Willem Barwin that tucked the game safely away for Essex. Cram completed his outburst with a pair of third-period goals while Sam Foster turned back 17 shots for the shutout.

Cale Layman came up with 25 saves for Rice. The Green Giants were the lowest seed to appear in the final in nine years and were making their first title game appearance since 2002.   It’s the first step in the process for first-year coach Jerry Tarrant, who graduates only five and who vowed to re-invigorate the program when he accepted the job.

DIVISION TWO

No. 1 Woodstock 3, No. 3 Colchester 1

After playing to a scoreless tie in January, it took roughly another period and a half for a member of the Woodstock (16-2-3) or Colchester hockey teams to find the back of the net Wednesday night.

When Woodstock’s Andrew Gubbins finally broke through 8:54 into Wednesday’s second period, it kicked off a three-goal burst in a span of 3:23 that delivered the Wasps (16-2-3) their second consecutive crown.

Shortly thereafter Lucas Piconi delivered the game-winner and Ely Chynoweth stretched the margin to 3-0 54 seconds thereafter.  Woodstock goalie Henry Greene (20 saves) drew an assist on the GWG, triggering the breakout with his pass to Piconi.

The Lakers (17-5-1) were blunted by penalties throughout.  Still, they kept pressing and pulled to within 3-1 on Will Spencer’s power play strike with 3:50 to play. Greene stood tall down the stretch. Sam Fath finished with 20 saves in the Colchester cage.

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle joined the HNIB team in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. An award-winning veteran editor/writer of 35 years experience in the print and digital mediums, he has conceptualized, edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and their websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple NEPA and NEAP awards during his tenure as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. He is the 2016 recipient of the North Shore Lifetime Commitment From the Community award presented by Moynihan Lumber and is a 2017 inductee into the Newburyport High School Wall of Fame. The Newburyport, MA native resides with his family in Epping, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40.
Kevin Doyle
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