BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Essex and Milton are state champions in D1 and D2 boys hockey respectively after title game victories Friday night at Gutterson Fieldhouse. The Hornets claimed their 17th state championship and third in five years, but it was the Yellow Jackets’ first title since 1982!
Essex would open the scoring against top seeded Rice on a power play strike from Justin Prim in the first, only to watch the Green Knights even the proceedings in the second. But midway through the third, Trenton Sisters would put the Hornets back in front, and Max Foster’s 26 saves would seal the deal on the 2-1 victory.
“Freshman year, I didn’t play much, so I really wanted to win a championship when I was playing,” Foster said after the game. “So when that buzzer when I just said ‘WHOOP’ and threw my gloves off. Great feeling.”
In the D2 final, Milton rallied in dramatic fashion, overcoming a 3-0 first period deficit for their first title in 40 years. Cameron Fougere and Owen Severy would play the heroes, with Fougere getting the Jackets on the board to start the comeback. He’d assist Severy on the equalizer with less than five minutes to go, and in the extra frame, Fougere’s feed from the point would redirect off Severy’s stick and a Hartford skate to clinch the 4-3 overtime win.
“The message in the locker room between second and third is you know we had seven seniors that were here two years ago when we lost in overtime and they didn’t want to go through that again,” said Milton head coach Bryant Perry. “So just fought and fought and fought and the puck started bouncing our way there in the third. We got the breaks that we needed and just kept grinding.”
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