BURLINGTON — Top seeds and defending champions Essex and Woodstock earned Vermont Principals Association Tournament titles with championship game wins on Wednesday night inside Gutterson Fieldhouse.
In Division One the Essex Hornets got five points from senior winger Grady Cram in a 5-0 whitewashing of the Rice Memorial Green Knights, while three goals in a 3:17 span in the second period were enough to carry the Woodstock Wasps past the Colchester Lakers 3-1 for the Division Two crown.
In the D-1 Game, sixth seed Rice hung with the Hornets through a scoreless first period before Cram setup classmate Jonah Janaro’s powerplay goal at the 1:40 mark of the second. The 1-0 score held up until the final two minutes of the period when Essex scored twice. First Cram fed defenseman Ian Amaliksen for a point shot goal at 13:13. Then Cram’s mid point shot was tipped home by Willem Barwin at 14:32. Cram scored a pair of goals against the tiring Knights in the final period to complete his five point night.
Earlier in the D-2 Game, the Wasps and the Lakers battled through a dead even first period before Woodstock exploded just past the midway mark of the second. First it was Andrew Gubbins at 8:54. Then it was Lucas Piconi, sent away by goaltender Henry Greene for a powerplay goal at 11:23. And finally Ely Chynoweth netted the third goal of the run at 12:17 for a 3-0 lead after two. Will Spencer got Colchester on the board late in the third to account for the final score.
For Essex the state championship was their second in a row and 16th in program history. The Hornets end the year at 18-3-2.
For Woodstock the championship was their second straight and their third overall. They end the year at 16-2-3.