Submitted by FRANK FLYNN
A combined team of players from Milton and Missisquoi took to the ice this weekend and skated out with a win.
The Milton Youth/Missisquoi Amateur team competed and won the Peewee A state championship against Woodstock in Middlebury on Saturday, March 8.
To say it was a nail biter would be an exaggeration, but the two teams battled back and forth through three regulation periods, and at the end, found themselves tied 2-2.
Both of the MYHA/MAHA goals were scored by Cameron Barnier. Braylen Parent assisted on the first, and Barnier scored the other unassisted when he intercepted a pass while the team was killing a penalty; he skated in on a breakaway to net the tying goal.
From that point on, opportunities were a seesaw affair, with Woodstock getting multiple great scoring chances, all turned away by some excellent goaltending by Logan LaBelle. Both teams took late penalties in the third, which brought some serious drama to the ice. At one point Milton had two boys in the box and had to kill a 5-on-3 penalty for over a minute.
Thanks to great defensive efforts on the parts of Owen “O Dog” Perry, Josh McQuinn, Topher Bessette and LaBelle, the team kept the score tied. Nick DeSouza was the lone forward for part of that penalty kill, too, and coaches appreciated his efforts. Woodstock took a penalty just before the second player came out of the box, so the team finished the game with a man advantage but could not collect a goal.
Then came the first overtime, and after a five-minute effort, the score still remained tied. The officials deemed the ice needed resurfacing, and both teams were happy for a short respite.
Through three more periods, the battle raged back and forth with no team able to complete the game; so many near misses and great plays by both teams’ goaltenders would not allow it. Finally at 1:32 in the fourth overtime, Parent snuck out of the zone just ahead of the Woodstock defender and slipped a goal through Woodstock to seal the win. The game was a testimony to how closely matched these two teams are and was a pleasure to watch despite how many parents aged about a year per hour.
The team is coached by Milton’s Bryant Perry, Steve Perron and Hal Heisler and is aided by Jeff LaBelle from Missisquoi.
Parents and coaches congratulate the boys for a fine season and wish them good luck in Rhode Island at the regional playoffs this weekend.