Bulldog boys battle, fall to Woodstock

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MANCHESTER — For the first time this season, the Burr and Burton Academy boys hockey were shut out as the Bulldogs lost to Woodstock on Saturday night, 2-0.

Up against the top team in their division in the Wasps, the Bulldogs looked to be up to the task in the early going, controlling the puck, but BBA couldn't get anything going offensively because of penalties.

The Bulldogs committed a total of four penalties in the first period, including two of them wiping away power play opportunities they had from Woodstock penalties.

"We played well there early on, but again penalties killed us and you can't win game when you commit a lot of penalties," said BBA coach Kevin Fleurie. "We had a chance there to take control of the game early one and we let it slip away from us."

In the first minute of the second period, Woodstock's Steven Townley broke through for the first goal, banking one in top shelf to make it 1-0.

Down one, BBA continued to push the puck forward into the Wasps' zone but could not get any of their shots past Woodstock goaltender Jason Drebber.

The junior did a great job keeping the Bulldogs offense in check, securing a combined 10 saves in the first two periods of the contest. Overall, Drebber had 17 saves in his shutout victory over the Bulldogs.

Like Drebber, BBA's goalie Jeremy Fleming also had a great night in net.

The junior racked up eight saves in the second period to keep BBA only down 1-0 going into the third period.

"I thought I played really well out there tonight," Fleming said. "I just focused on trying keep my team in the game and stopping the puck from getting past me."

He finished with 24 saves in the game.

Down only one in the third period, BBA continued to crash the net and keep the puck inside the offensive zone, but again had no luck getting any shot in for a goal.

With five minutes to go, the penalty bug again bit the Bulldogs.

After BBA committed its sixth penalty of the game, the Wasps took advantage, scoring on a power play to go up 2-0. Overall, the Bulldogs committed eight penalties.

"We can't take lazy penalties like we did tonight," Fleurie said. "It's tough to win a game when you're always a man down, so we need to get better at moving our feet out there on the ice and get to the basics."

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 8-7 on the season, while Woodstock improves to a Division II best 14-1 on the season.

"I was pleased with how our team played tonight," Fleurie said. "We played a great team with an outstanding goalie and we were with them every step of the way tonight. If we can fix the penalties and get back to playing systematic hockey better, we will have a chance to beat any team in Division II come playoff time. We definitely proved that tonight."

BBA will try to get back on the winning track come Wednesday night when they host Mount Mansfield at 5 p.m.


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