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Brunswick Hockey Back on Track With Win Over Williston

The Brunswick School hockey team upended Williston Northampton earlier Saturday 5-3. (John Ferris Robben photo)
The Brunswick School hockey team upended Williston Northampton earlier Saturday 5-3. (John Ferris Robben photo)

Well that didn’t take long for the Brunswick School ice hockey team.

After falling to Loomis Chaffee School 2-0 on Friday to end the team’s 14-game unbeaten streak, the Bruins were back on the Hartong Rink ice Saturday and ended up starting a new win streak by beating Williston Northampton School 5-3.

“We were frustrated not being able to score a goal against Loomis and we played a great game against them,” Brunswick head coach Rob VanBelle said. “Today was starting to feel similar after the first period, but we broke through in the second period and third period tonight. It felt good and gave the boys some confidence. It was good to find the back of the net a couple of times tonight.”

Leading the way for Brunswick, who scored three of its goals on the power play, was Christian LeSueur, who finished with two goals.

“This was nice,” said LeSueur. “Last night was tough because everybody thought we should have won, but we ran into a hot goalie. You get that once in a while, but it was actually nice to have a game this quickly and come out and play well.”

Not to be outdone was Colin Bernard, Colin Slyne and Nick VanBelle, who each finished with one goal. Bernard and Max Fuld added two assists on the day, while Nick VanBelle and Matt Holmes each added an assist.

“This felt great,” Bernard said. “Yesterday was a tough loss and we needed this to find a way to get back on track before we play Salisbury Monday. We took it step by step and kind of just broke the game down. We took it one period at a time and getting back on track was huge.”

Brunswick, which had close to 40 shots on goal against Loomis and couldn’t find the back of the net, was firing shots early and often against Williston. On the power play, the Bruins struck first. With only 2:23 gone by in the game, Brunswick worked the puck patiently around the Williston zone. 

Nick VanBelle passed to Fuld at the blue line. Fuld that passed across ice to Bernard, who blasted a shot from just inside the blue line that blew by the Williston defense and hit the left corner of the net for the 1-0 lead.

“Coach kept on stressing to throw pucks at the net and get pucks to crash the net,” Bernard said. “We got 37 shots on goal last night and didn’t get one through. The puck is going to go throrugh eventually and we have to just keep on battling.”

Although the Wildcats clawed back and knotted the game at 1-1 with 3:34 to play in the first, Brunswick applied the pressure and regained the lead early in the second. Once again the Bruins found themselves on the power play and once again they capitalized.

With only 1:38 gone by in the second Slyne got possession of the puck on the right side of the net and uncorked the long distance shot that beat Williston goalie Donnie Battimelli low for the 2-1 lead.

A little less than five minutes later, Brunswick extended its lead, courtesy of the power play. While on the far side of the ice, Fuld gained control of the puck from Bernard and found Nick VanBelle on the right side of the net. VanBelle took the one-time shot and hit the right corner of the net for the 3-1 advantage with 11:35 to play in the second.

“It was nice to see the power play have some success out there tonight,” Rob VanBelle said. “We were moving the puck well and in a game with a lot of penalties, you want your special teams working well. Our penalty killers did their job, so it was great to see special teams make a difference.”

Again Williston cut into the lead, as they beat Wick goalie Brian Ketchabaw 36 seconds later but Brunswick once again answered.

With 11:12 to play in the game, Brunswick picked up a goal when Nick VanBelle skated in and looked like he was going to fire off a shot. Instead he dished the puck to LeSueur, and with the goalie faked out, LeSueur had an open look at the net for the easy goal.

LeSueur took care of things himself with 4:33 to play, as he went from the near boards and skated to the net, faking out several Williston defenders and finding the back of the net for the 5-2 advantage.

Brunswick finished with 35 shots on goal, while Williston added 32. For the Bruins, goalie Ketchabaw grabbed 29 saves.

While Brunswick got the victory, there’s little time to celebrate, as they are back in action Monday afternoon against Salisbury School.

“All season we have been playing the same way, with defense first,” LeSueur said. “We are starting to score more goals now, but one key that we have been living and dying with has been the power play. We like to score on the power play and it showed today with the three goals.”

To read more on the Brunswick School ice hockey team, check out Friday’s Greenwich Sentinel.


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