Bulldogs headed back to the semifinals; defeat Cougars

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MANCHESTER — For the second straight season, the Burr and Burton boys hockey team will be playing for a spot in the Division II championship game. The No. 3 seeded Bulldogs defeated No. 6 seed Mount Mansfield 5-2 on Saturday night to advance to their second-straight semifinals appearance.

The Bulldogs found themselves in a 1-0 hole early on in the first period, but evened things up quickly as Egan Schmitt knifed his way into the Cougars' zone and poked in his first goal of the contest to tie the game up at 1-1.

After a Mt. Mansfield penalty put BBA on the power play, the Bulldogs profited from the extra man advantage, taking their first lead of the contest on a goal credited to Steven Schmitt.

"Our team has showed all season long that they're resilient and that they will continue to work hard and not quit out there on the ice," said BBA boys hockey coach Mark Slade. "We had a rough first few minutes of the game, but we bounced back and I was very happy to see that."

Leading 2-1 still going into the second period, BBA grabbed a two-goal lead early on in the period as junior Sam Cottrell fired in his first goal of the contest.

Cottrell and Steven Schmitt each finished with a goal and a game-high two assists in the contest for BBA.

Mt. Mansfield responded right back though with a goal scored by Kyle Wright to make it a one-goal game again.

BBA held on to its one-goal for over a period of play as both teams struggled to find the back of the net.

The Cougars got a golden opportunity to tie the game with five minutes left to play, getting a power play chance off a penalty called on Cottrell.

Mt. Mansfield however did not take advantage of its power play opportunity as the BBA defense stood strong for the penalty kill.

As the clock just ticked under two minutes to play, the Schmitt brothers were at it again for the Bulldogs when Egan punched in his game-high second goal of the game to extend the Bulldogs' lead back to two.

"Our team played really well in the third period to close out the game to get the win," said Egan Schmitt. "It felt great to play well in a must-win game for my team. I have had a blast all season playing on this team and I'm happy to see it continue."

The Mount Anthony combination of Trey Lang and Alex Carpenter help set up Maxx Ingison's goal in the final minute of the contest, giving Bulldogs a three-goal lead and a spot back in the semifinals.

Senior goaltender Kevin Souls racked up 12 saves in net for the Bulldogs in the win.

Cougars' goalie Phoenix Lamonda had a game-high 38 saves for Mt, Mansfield.

Greg Elgin scored the game's first goal for the Cougars in the first period.

With the win, BBA improves to 15-4-2 on the season and finish the year 11-0-1 at Riley Rink.

"It feels great to see us advance back to the semifinals," Slade said. "We continued to play hard all game and did a great job outworking Mt. Mansfield there in the third period. All of the hard work and effort the guys have put in this season paved off in this win."

The Bulldogs will travel to play Harwood in the semifinals on Tuesday.

With another shot to play for a state championship on the line, Slade expects to see his team take it to the next level come Tuesday night.

"Our team has the talent and the hard working mentality to be a championship caliber team," Slade said. "I'm looking for the team to utilize those assets and continue to put out great effort on the ice in the semifinals."

Reach sports editor Steven Bassin at 802-447-7567 ext 112 or @SBassin_Banner


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