BURLINGTON - March 11, 2022. A date that will now be seared into the memories of everyone who was in attendance at Gutterson Fieldhouse to witness the Division 2 Vermont high school boys hockey state finals. That’s because the Milton Yellowjackets did the impossible- again.

From the moment the Yellowjackets (No.2) took the ice against the Hartford Hurricanes (No.1) it looked like this was a game they were destined to lose. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, Milton got caved in through the first fifteen minutes. They were out-shot 18-5 and more importantly outscored 3-0 by the first period’s end. Now, the Yellowjackets did just prove they could come back from a three goal deficit in the semifinals but that was against Stowe, not Hartford. The Hurricanes were undefeated and were playing like an undefeated team. It wasn’t possible.

If there was a positive, it was that three goals is where Milton’s goaltender Teddy Munson draws the line. Similar to the semifinal, after the third goal nothing got by the senior and he held the Yellowjackets in the game the rest of the way.

Teddy Munson

Yellowjackets' netminder Teddy Munson closely watches a Hartford skater with the puck.

The second period saw a stronger effort by Milton, but still Hartford looked to be the better of the two teams. The Yellowjackets had an opportunity to make the game interesting when they drew a five minute power-play, but only managed to register one shot on goal during the man advantage. The Hurricanes got a power-play of their own for the final two minutes of the period, and nearly scored their third powerplay marker of the night.

Finding a cross-crease seam, Hartford had an open net to shoot at but an acrobatic split save by Munson with 50 seconds left in period denied the Hurricanes' chance. The Milton faithful roared in approval of the miraculous save, and ‘Teddy’ chants echoed throughout the building to end the period.

Despite Munson keeping Milton in the game, they still had yet to find the back of net and had been out-shot again in the second period. To most onlookers, the Yellowjackets chances of turning the game around looked dubious at best in the final fifteen minutes. The belief that Milton could, and would, win the game came from within the locker room itself.

Teddy Munson

Milton's Teddy Munson stretches out to make a save.

“Coming into this game we weren’t going to lose,” said Yellowjackets’ captain Cam Fougere. “We knew it the whole time. Even down 3-0 going into the third period, the motivation was still there and everything was so high.”

“There was no doubt,” added Milton’s head coach Bryant Perry on whether the team believed they could still pull off the comeback during the second intermission. “It’s believing in what just happened in the semi’s, and if you can’t believe it in that in the finals then you shouldn’t be playing the game. That’s why you play to the final whistle.”

Coming out with more an energy than in the previous thirty minutes, Cooper Goodrich got the first opportunity on Milton’s intial shift, but his shot rang off Hartford’s goal post and stayed out. Milton’s offensive pressure put the Hurricanes on the back foot for the first time all game, forcing Hartford to take a penalty. On the power-play the Jackets finally broke through; another Goodrich shot rebounded over to an open Fougere who fired the puck into the top corner of the Hurricanes net.

Cam Fougere goal

The Yellowjackets celebrate Cam Fougere's goal in the third period.

The Jackets dominance continued, and with 5:13 on the clock Brandon Mitchell won an offensive zone draw back to defenseman Caleb Barnier at the point. Barnier’s wrist shot made it though traffic and found the back of Hartford’s net to make it a 3-2 game.

“After we got that second goal we really pulled it together,” Barnier said. “It felt amazing (to score), there’s not a feeling like it. After that I knew we were right back in the game, we had a big momentum boost. We just kept putting the pedal to the metal.”

Caleb Barnier goal

Owen Severy (18) jumps to celebrate Caleb Barnier (behind) following Barnier's goal that made it a 3-2 game. Cam Fougere (4) and Brandon Mitchell (21) skate to join them.

Fully running on adrenaline, Milton tied the game with a goal from Owen Severy just over a minute later. The play was started when Fougere broke up a Hartford breakout by catching a puck in mid-air. The senior recounted the play following the game.

“We played them earlier in the year and we knew they liked that cross-ice pass,” Fougere said. “I waited for it, saw it coming, and grabbed it out of midair. He (a Hartford defender) was barreling at me so I tried to make a quick move and looked for my trusty man (Severy) on the backdoor. He was able to put one home.”

Owen Severy 1st goal

Owen Severy skates straight to the Milton fans after scoring the tying goal in the third period.

Milton had been so dominate that Hartford hadn’t even recorded a shot on goal in the period until the final two minutes. Once again Munson was there to seal off the net, making four saves to send the game into overtime.

5:29 into extra time it was Owen Severy with his second goal of the night that made the impossible a reality.

“I was surprised it went in; it went off like five different guys," said Severy on the game winner. “It was just crazy, as soon as I saw it hit the net I just cellied!”


Astonishment, disbelief, and in awe of the comeback they just pulled off to win the first Vermont D2 boys hockey state title for Milton in 40 years were the reactions of the Yellowjackets team. Understandably, most of the boys were at a loss for words when it came to describing the emotions they were feeling after the celebrations on the ice.

“I-I don’t know,” stammered out a typically well spoken Goodrich. “I’m just astonished right now. I mean against Stowe we come back from 3-0 to win 4-3 and it’s the same thing again. We came back, and the first goal just started it all for us. It’s unbelievable. I don’t know what’s happening. There are no words.”

“Oh my gosh,” said Munson. “The same thing with semi’s; I don’t know. I mean the puck went in and I stalled for a couple of seconds. I was like, ‘wait no way’. I didn’t believe it.”

“I didn’t really see it go in the net but I saw everyone in the stands go crazy so I figured it must’ve went in,” added Fougere. “It was just unbelievable. I just went to the fans and celebrated with my teammates.”

Champions! (Milton)

The 2021/22 Milton Yellowjackets team with their state title hardware pose for a photo in front of the student's section at Gutterson Fieldhouse.

Still holding onto the championship plaque, coach Perry looked as if he would never be able to set it down after the game.

“I just told my AD you better order another trophy because this one is coming home with me,” said Perry, laughing. “I’m not leaving it at the school. What a way to end. They make my job easy. It’s all on them, I just try to draw up practice plans and try to change it up. I’m super proud- two games in a row, it’s just crazy. I love this game.”

Bryant Perry

Yellowjackets' head coach Bryant Perry holds up the D2 Vermont state title.

There are moments while playing sports that you remember forever, and championships are one of those moments. State titles get hung by a banner for that reason, so alumni remember those moments, and so future generations can see the achievements of those who came before them.

Very rarely does the story of how a sports moment happened get seared in to the minds beyond just those involved, beyond just the players and their families. The moment the Milton boys won the championship on March 11, 2022 will be one of those moments that goes beyond; it’s safe to say every single person who was in attendance will never forget the magic of the 2021/22 Milton Yellowjackets playoff run. What was witnessed at Gutterson Fieldhouse was like watching a movie, and I don’t think that even the best directors in Hollywood could have written a more thrilling script. Congratulations to the 2021/22 Milton Yellowjackets; the team that did the impossible, twice.

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