MANCHESTER — For coach Jason Pergament and the Burr and Burton Academy boys lacrosse team, Saturday's win over Hartford was a nice start.
But with three games in the next week against Mount Greylock (Mass.), Mount Anthony and Rice coming up, the schedule will get a bit tougher real quick, a challenge that Pergament relishes.
"It's helpful [in a big win] to get the kinks out," said Pergament, whose team comes into the year as two-time defending Division II champions. "We have to increase the tenacity from the start, but it's the first game of the year. The captains have some ideas to do that, I'm fortunate to have 13 seniors."
BBA cruised past Hartford, 16-1, as senior Will Baker and junior Carter Vickers combined for nine goals. Vickers' final goal of the afternoon was the 100th of his career.
The teams were even in the first few minutes of the first quarter before Burr and Burton broke the ice. Billy Gormley started the scoring off an assist from Jake Baker with six minutes remaining in the first and the goals began to come fast and furious.
Nikolai Sands tallied 10 seconds later from his long stick midfield spot, then Baker scored his first of five goals on the day about a minute later, off an assist from Vickers.
Vickers scored the last two goals of the opening period, the second assisted by Max Pagnucco to give BBA a 5-0 advantage.
"We knew he was close to [the milestone] so we wanted to get him the ball and get it over with right away," Pergament said.
BBA turned up the pressure in the second quarter. Baker scored four straight times in the first five minutes of the quarter as the lead ballooned to 9-0. Three of the four tallies were assisted, one each for Murray Senecal, Pagnucco and Ray Gormley.
"Will is one of our captains, a great player, and he's worked hard to find his role in this program and this team," Pergament said. "He was a midfielder last year, but he's really an attackman. I think all of our attack will be clicking all year long."
Vickers, Sands, Senecal and Nick Stefanik all scored in the final three minutes of the half for a 13-0 lead at the break as the teams started to jaw back and forth with the rout on.
"If I'm another team, I wouldn't know who to defend," Pergament said. "If a team runs a zone, we can pick it apart," Pergament said.
Hartford averted the shutout early in the second half with a score from Nick Dorain 22 seconds in, but with the Bulldogs subbing liberally and moving players in and out of different positions, they would get no closer as Vickers scored off an assist from Sean Apps and Apps scoring from a Vickers assist. Jake Baker tallied the final one.
In the cage, Kevin Gormley and Jimmy LoMuscio shared time, combining for six saves. Gormley, as the starter, picked up the win in his first varsity start.
"Kevin did a really nice job and Jimmy is a big physical presence back there," Pergament said. "It's a nice luxury to have."
The Bulldogs travel to Massachusetts to face Mount Greylock today, weather permitting.
"It's a huge week and to be the best you have to beat the best," Pergament said. "It's not about what happens now, but about peaking at the end of the year, when we'll see those teams [in the postseason]."