|Reichertís tally sends CVU Redhawks to Division I title
|Written by VT Sports Network News Feed
|Friday, 27 February 2009
The Champlain Valley Union High School boys hockey team had been knocking on the door.
The second-seeded Redhawks burst through Saturday night with a 2-1 win over top-seeded Essex in the Division I state championship game at Gutterson Fieldhouse, shedding their runner-up label and halting the Hornets’ three-year reign.
Sophomore forward Robbie Dobrowski connected on a first-period wrister and senior Tim Reichert broke a 1-all deadlock with a breakaway finish midway through the second as CVU avenged a loss to Essex in last season’s final and collected the trophy after finishing second three of the last five years.
“Amazing,” CVU senior forward Ben Soll said. “It’s been my dream since the first year I stepped on the team. Last year was devastating after losing it at the end. It was great to come back for a little revenge.”
Attacking from the opening faceoff to the final horn, CVU swiped its second Division I title and first since 2002 while shattering Essex’s hopes for its seventh crown in 10 years.
“Last year, we kind of felt like it was nice to be here, but it left a bad taste in our mouths,” said Reichert, who wiped away any residue of that 4-2 defeat when he buried a breakaway with 7:13 remaining in the second period, a back-breaker that came just 2:33 after Essex knotted the score.
After being forced to claw back from a two-goal deficit for a 3-2 win over Spaulding in the semifinals, CVU was determined to set the tone early Saturday, outshooting Essex 9-3 in the opening period.
The Redhawks were rewarded with 6:23 left in the first period when Dobrowski corralled Soll’s drop pass, used a pair of Essex defenders as a screen and beat Essex goalie Evan Russell (14 saves) to the top-right corner. Sam Spencer earned the other assist on the fast-break tally.
“They outworked us in the first period,” Essex coach Bill O’Neil said. “We had to get the next goal; we had to put more pressure on them; we had to go to the net.”
Essex’s chances weren’t as abundant as CVU’s, but the Hornets cashed in on their only power play 5:16 into the second. Thomas Dvorak’s innocent dump toward the net from the blue line caromed off a defender’s skate and found Bryce Currier on the right post. The junior forward buried the offering to square the score at 1.
The lead didn’t last long, not with Reichert reeling in a long outlet from Chris Howard for the decisive breakaway, which he converted into a 2-1 advantage, deking to the left and wedging a backhand inside the post.