Middlebury, VT – Neutral Zone and a good sized crowd were treated to a great D2 playoff matchup between the #10 seed Burr & Burton Bulldogs and the #7 seed Middlebury Union Tigers in Middlebury Saturday evening. We were not disappointed as these evenly matched teams gave everyone a very entertaining game to watch with the Bulldogs coming out on top 3-2 at the final buzzer.
In the first period, Middlebury put pressure on Burr & Burton early with a couple grade A chances. They were able to score first when sophomore forward Landon Kean (#14) fired a shot past Bulldog goalie Michael Hornby (#1) with assist going to Henry Hunsdorfer (#9) and Kellan Bartlett (#23). Later in the period Middlebury went on a power play but an Burr & Burton forward Jake Murnaghan (#9) made a nice pass to spring freshman Bodie Smith (#7) down the left wing for a shorthanded goal. Each team took additional penalties but were unable to score on their power plays.The period ended at 1-1.
Burr and Burton started the second period on the power play, which gave them momentum through much of the period. The Bulldogs spent considerable time in the Tigers defensive zone with sustained pressure and lots of shots on net. This led to Burr and Burton scoring twice with goals by junior Jack McCoy (#12( and freshman Luke Brownlee (#4) with the helper going to his brother Max Brownlee (#11). Assists to the McCoy goal went to Luke Brownlee and fellow freshman Bodie Smith. Later in the period Middlebury narrowed the score to 3-2 when junior winger Gavin McNulty (#20) skated into the offensive zone and beat Hornby over his shoulder for the unassisted goal.
A scoreless third period saw back and forth action but both teams tightened up their defensive zone checking in this close contest. Each team made good defensive plays and wasted no time getting the puck out of their zone quickly. As a result, there weren’t many high quality scoring chances. Both teams used their timeouts in the final two minutes to rest and regroup. Middlebury pulled their goalie in the final minute but was unable to get the tying goal. With the win, the Bulldogs now advance to the next round of the playoffs.
1st Star: Bodie Smith (#7) Burr & Burton
2nd Star: Luke Brownlee (#4) Burr and Burton
3rd Star: Landon Kean (#14) Middlebury